aryan khan: Byju breaks Shah Rukh Khan ads after arrest of Aryan Khan’s son

Bengaluru | Mumbai: Byju’s has delayed his association with Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan following the arrest of his son Aryan Khan in a drug case in Mumbai.

People who are aware of the issue said that the edtech startup over the past few days has pulled ads featuring the actor despite pre-orders, after facing backlash on social media platforms like Twitter. While SRK was the face of several leading brands such as Hyundai, LG, Dubai Tourism, ICICI Bank and Reliance Jio, Byju’s was one of the biggest sponsorship deals for the actor.

When contacted, a spokesman for Byju declined to comment.

Aryan Khan was refused bail on Friday in connection with the ongoing drug-on-cruise probe.

SRK Byju’s deal is pegged at an annual fee of Rs 3-4 crore, said two people who are aware of the matter. SRK has been a brand ambassador for the company since 2017.

The Bengaluru-based startup, especially in the last two years, has been expanding rapidly in India as well as abroad besides making several big-ticket acquisitions like the Aakash Foundation, the brick training network and mortar.

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“They (Byju’s) have delayed all SRK-related promotions for the time being. It had to be removed because the education company would not like to be seen in promotions with him given the controversy (over the drug case involving his son), ”said someone who is aware the issue. It’s unclear whether Byju’s has decided to drop SRK as a brand ambassador, this person said. “These ads were pre-ordered – as is the process – so it took some time to stop them all.”

Byju’s had launched a new advertising campaign with SRK less than three weeks ago.

“For Byju’s, they had planned for IPL ads as well and now there’s discomfort around that as the tournament moves to its next stage. It’s unclear whether they will be able to opt out of all IPL promotions, ”said another person aware of the issue.

Byju’s is currently the most valuable startup with a valuation of around $ 18 billion. It raised $ 300 million earlier this week as part of an ongoing funding round.

Shah Rukh Khan has also been associated with BigBasket’s online grocery, now owned by Tata Group. A company spokesman said, “BigBasket will not like to validate, deny or comment on this.” The company declined to make any additional comments on its association with the Bollywood actor.

“Byju has benefited tremendously from his association with SRK,” said Rohit Ohri, chairman of FCB India’s creative ad agency group, which has worked with various celebrities including SRK and Amitabh Bachchan. “Shah Rukh’s association with the edtech brand has been so innate and deep, that even if Byju temporarily delays advertising, it will be very difficult for the brand to disassociate itself from SRK.”

According to him, Byju’s is trying to defend its brand amid the current controversy, but celebrity advertising has always come with risks. “In the age of social media, the risk is amplified so much more. Nike, for example, did not drop Tiger Woods, and in fact made a comeback campaign after the huge debate over the golfer, ”he said.

SRK was ranked fourth in Duff & Phelps’ famous brand pricing study with a brand value of $ 51.1 million. He has 42 million followers on Twitter and 26.5 million followers on Instagram.

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