Amitabh, Priyanka are new Incredible India brand ambassadors

Meet Incredible India’s new brand ambassadors, Amitabh Bachchan and Priyanka Chopra. Bollywood superstars Amitabh Bachchan and Priyanka Chopra have replaced Aamir Khan as the ambassadors of ‘Incredible India’ campaign to market the country to tourists abroad. It is the first time that the government is directly appointing the brand ambassadors. Both actors will be appointed for 3 years and will not charge a single penny for the endorsement.

The selection of the two actors follows the Centre’s decision to discontinue the contract of actor Aamir Khan, who had angered the BJP-led government with his remarks on perceived intolerance in the country.

An official announcement to this regard will be made after January 26.

Khan had promoted Indian tourism for a decade as the brand ambassador. Khan fronted the government’s campaign to promote the country as a tourist destination for 10 years before he was replaced in January. “Out contract was with the McCann Worldwide agency for ‘Atithi Devo Bhava’ campaign. The agency had hired Aamir for the job. Now the contract with the agency is over. Ministry has not hired Aamir… It was the agency which has hired him. Since the contract with the agency is no more, automatically the arrangement with the actor no longer exists,” claimed Sharma.

A number of multi-disciplinary icons, including famous sports personalities, were shortlisted by the tourism ministry to be the face of the ‘Incredible India’ campaign.

Other suggestions being considered include choosing a female personality as the mascot for the ‘Atithi Devo Bhava’ series which is part of the ‘Incredible India’ campaign to attract foreign tourists.

Khan had late last year stirred a controversy after he expressed “alarm and despondency” over rising instances of intolerance in the country in the past few months and said that his wife (Kiran Rao) even asked if they should move out of India as she feared for the safety of their children.

Defending Khan’s exit from the campaign, senior bureaucrat Amitabh Kant had said the actor, by terming India an ‘intolerant country’, worked against his role as that of a brand ambassador.

“A brand ambassador promotes a brand. People will come to India and tourist flow will increase only if the brand ambassador of ‘Incredible India’ promotes the country as ‘incredible’,” Kant, who is a secretary at the department of industrial policy and promotion, had said.

“But if the brand ambassador says India is intolerant, he surely is not working as brand ambassador,” Kant said.