Amitabh Bachchan & Priyanka Chopra replace Aamir Khan as 'Incredible India' brand ambassadors

MUMBAI: Bollywood stalwart Amitabh Bachchan and India’s new international face Priyanka Chopra have been named as the brand ambassadors for Government of India’s ‘Incredible India’ campaign, making it the first time that the government has appointed actors.

The endorsement agreement will be for a period of three years and the official announcement is likely to be made after 26 January.

To date, Bachchan has been the face of many social campaigns like Gujarat Tourism, Polio Eradication Drive, Hepatitis B etc. Chopra, on the other hand, has made leaps and bounds in her career in recent years. Apart from being applauded in the roles she portrays in Hindi films, she also made headway in Hollywood by debuting as the lead in ABC’s television series Quantico and is also the first South Asian actor to win the Favourite Actress in a New TV series award at this year's People's Choice Awards.

The duo replaces erstwhile brand ambassador Aamir Khan, who had been roped in by the creative agency working on the campaign - McCann Worldwide.

It may be recalled that Khan was in the eye of the storm late last year, over his ‘intolerance’ remarks, which were blown out of proportion as well as quoted out of context in the media. Khan was the face of the ‘Athithi Devo Bhava’ campaign for almost a decade.

Earlier this month, the Ministry of Tourism had denied removing Khan as ‘Incredible India’ brand ambassador in a statement. In response to media reports citing that Khan would no longer be endorsing the campaign in light of the ‘intolerance’ controversy that broke out late last year, the Tourism Ministry clarified that “there is no change in the stand of the ministry in this matter.” 

The Ministry further clarified that at present it had a contractual agreement with creative agency McCann Worldwide to produce social awareness campaign and it was the agency, which had an agreement with Khan.

However, a senior bureaucrat Amitabh Kant, who was a key figure in implementing the campaign during his tenure with the Ministry of Tourism, earlier justified the government’s decision to remove the actor from the portfolio.

At that time, Khan, on his part, had said, “Whether I am brand ambassador or not, India will remain Incredible, and that's the way it should be.”

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