Amitabh to endorse DD Kisan for free

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bigb_letterThree days after The Hindu reported on the Rs. 6.31-crore agreement between Doordarshan and advertising agency Lintas for signing Amitabh Bachchan as brand ambassador of the DD Kisan channel, the actor on Monday said any monetary transaction should be considered null and void.

Ad firm to refund endorsement fee: Days after The Hindu reported details of a Rs. 6.31 crore agreement inked between Doordarshan (DD) officials and advertising agency Lintas for signing up Amitabh Bachchan as the brand ambassador of the DD Kisan channel, the actor said on Monday that he would work pro bono for the government’s project. Leila Bilimoria, Associate Vice president, Linopinion- Golinharris Joint Venture, member of the Lintas India Group, said in an email that Mr. Bachchan has taken a decision to do the endorsement free of charge.

“In [the] light of today’s development, we have initiated the process of refund to our client, DD Kisan for the amount collected for Mr. Bachchan’s celebrity endorsement.” which was pending payment to him on signing of the contract terms.”

Even as the actor denied receiving money for the Kisan channel endorsement, responding on email, the advertisement agency said, “Until recently, Lintas was negotiating with Mr. Bachchan’s office on a variety of clauses and terms on behalf of our client DD KISAN. We received formal communication from his office this [Monday] afternoon, that upon reviewing the workin-progress contract with his team, Mr. Bachchan has taken a decision on principle that he will not charge any fee on issues.”

This implies, Mr. Bachchan took a decision not to charge following the disclosures made in The Hindu.

The Hindu had reported last week that Lintas and Doordarshan had signed an agreement for Rs. 6.31 crore for getting Mr. Bachchan to endorse the newly launched channel, which was inaugurated on May 26 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and dedicated to the Indian farmer.

Mr. Bachchan said: “When my finance team informed me of proceedings in this matter today, I told them I work pro bono on such issues, and that any considerations or talks done so far should be treated as null and void. This has been conveyed to Lintas also. What money transactions transpired between DD and Lintas, is between them. I shall not be able to shed light on that.” He also clarified that he had not signed any contract with either DD or Lintas and neither had been paid any money from either party.

“I have, as I said, earlier executed the ‘deliverables’ for the campaign, though many days ago,” Mr. Bachchan clarified in his email. The additional director general of Prasar Bharati Corporation and DD Kisan head, Mr Ranjan Mukherjee had clarified last week to The Hindu that Doordarshan has paid Lintas the sum of Rs 6.31crores after a high-powered committee set up by the Prasar Bharati Board endorsed Mr Bachchan’s name as brand ambassador for the Kisan channel.

Lintas said, “We welcome today’s decision to do the wok for DD Kisan pro bono.”

Payment details:  Further to the report published in this newspaper, some more details have emerged on the shape that was given to the contract. The agreement, seen by The Hindu, refers to the payment of Rs 6.31,18, 230 crores, and how it is to be paid. The agreement gives the tenure, total number of days required of the celebrity, the platforms used for the campaign and service tax calculated @12.36 per cent.

To this Lintas added the cost of the communication package towards production of the 60 seconds television Commercial and radio spots as Rs 2,16,85,480, taking the total cost of celebrity engagement+ Production of Communication Package to Rs 8,48,03,710.00 crores.

The payment terms were as follows Rs 3.89,32,740 crores to be paid at the time of confirmation of endorsement from Celebrity office; Rs 2.24,72,000 crores to be paid at the time the finalisation of pre-production meeting date; Rs 1.94,66,370 crores to be paid at the time the production dates are conveyed to DD Kisan and Rs 39,32,600 crores to be paid once the master of television commercial is delivered o DD Kisan.

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