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Brand Sushmita gets a new fizz

By BS Corporate Bureau in New Delhi
December 11, 2003 09:11 IST
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Sushmita SenSushmita Sen's row with Coca-Cola could raise her stock as a brand ambassador.

Two days after the news broke that she had settled her dispute with Coke, celebrity managers and top professionals from the advertising world said her image had received a boost, and this could salvage her career.

Sen has been out of brand endorsements for long. After Epson and Thums Up, she almost vanished from the scene. But things may take a turn for the better now.

French fashion powerhouse LVMH had been toying with the idea of roping in Sen as ambassador for its two watch brands in India, Christian Dior and Tag Heuer.

"The initial reports did not go in her favour as she was not doing that much. There were a couple of films but none was a blockbuster. We have not taken a final decision. But it will be good to associate with her. She comes across as a powerful and strong woman now," an LVMH executive said.

"She has been a quiet celebrity. But this episode has changed her persona. It projects her as an aggressive, no-nonsense person. People like those who play on the front foot," said Shailendra Singh of Percept D'Mark.

Added Sulina Menon, head of Carat India, "This brings her out as extremely professional, one who can stand up to a multinational."

However, admen like Preet Bedi, president of Rediffusion DY&R, feel an incident like this cannot do any good to the image of celebrities like Sen, whose mass appeal may be on the wane.

"When Coca-Cola signed up Sushmita, she was a rising star. But today does she command such a celebrity status anymore?" he asks, adding, "While I am not being disrespectful to her, I must say that she does not have the mass connect that a brand ambassador should have. She is definitely not on the number one rung."

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BS Corporate Bureau in New Delhi

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