5 instances when MS Dhoni's endorsements got him in trouble

Dhoni was at the center of controversy

MS Dhoni has so many endorsements to his name, it would take him quite a while to recall and recite the name of each one. That is if he could recall them all. Dhoni enjoys rock-star levels of popularity in India. His image is highly sought after, so much so that even he has occasion to be surprised when he sees a product endorsed by him. The surprise comes when the endorsement is without his knowledge.When marketers are so bent on using your image, and when you are open to exploring the opportunities available, it is inevitable that you'll have to deal with your share of controversy. Here is a look at 5 instances when MS Dhoni's endorsements caused controversy and got him in trouble

#1 Mc Dowells spoofing Harbhajan Singh

Dhoni was at the center of controversy

When alcohol is involved, things usually go south soon. In case of this endorsement, one has to wonder if the team behind creating the concept was slightly inebriated at the time.

Harbhajan Singh starred in a Royal Stag ad which was lampooned by McDowell. The spoof started out just like the original, before a Harbhajan lookalike gets slapped.Dhoni then turns off the TV showing the spoof, and says "If you want to do something in life, forget large and do something different."Vijay Mallya came to the defense of the ad saying "It was not meant to attack Harbhajan Singh personally. It was just a spoof between two brands. There are several TV programmes that spoof our politicians. What will happen if all of them start sending legal notices?"
Harbhajan's mother demanded 1400 pounds from UB Group which sells McDowells, alleging that the ad is an insult to her son, her family and to the Sikh community. She called it anti-national as well.When an endorsement of yours causes a teammate's mother to speak out against you, that is a pretty clear sign that a major gaffe has been committed.

#2 God of big deals

Dhoni didn’t pose for this cover

A 2013 Business Today magazine cover has caused far reaching consequences. It depicted Dhoni as Lord Vishnu, the God of Big Deals. The magazine cover caused uproar, and warrants were issued in Dhoni's name. Social worker Jayakumar Hiremath alleged that Dhoni had hurt religious sentiments.

The Lord Vishnu style morphed magazine cover is hilarious. Dhoni didn't even pose for it. He apparently wasn't even aware that it was being done. His image was morphed to make him look like Lord Vishnu.As if that wasn't sacrilegious enough, the image showed him holding a shoe. Hindu temples house idols of deities. The temples are off-limits to shoes. Why would anyone want to place a shoe in the hand of the likeness of Lord Vishnu if one wasn't courting controversy?

#3 Hundreds of protesters crowd Dhoni\'s hotel

Not how he wants to be compared to Sachin

The Chennai Super Kings were set to play against the Rajasthan Royals at MA Chidambaram stadium in the 4th IPL when Pasumai Thayagam, an affiliate of Pattali Makkal Katchi in Tamil Nadu, created a protest against the Indian team captain.

Arul of PT, said "Cricket cannot and should not be used as a tool to force the habit of alcohol consumption amongst youngsters. While Sachin Tendulkar refused to campaign for alcohol brands even when he was given `26 crore, Dhoni has endorsed it for just Rs20 crore,”
Dhoni found a hotel he was staying in turn into a protest scene. Over a hundred protesters were detained by the police as they staged a protest outside of the hotel against him appearing in advertisments by a liquor brand.It was reported that former Union Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss had himself also written to MS Dhoni to refrain from endorsing alcoholic beverages. He was asked to follow Sachin Tendulkar in this regard, who had refused to star in alcohol.The letter included Ramadoss stating, β€œBeing the hero for millions of youngsters after winning the World Cup, you have indulged in indirect advertising for alcoholic beverages that kill millions of people a year.”

#4 Mysore Soap

Squeaky clean soap

Ironically, a product which personifies a clean image, ended up tarnishing Dhoni’s image. Back in 2008, MS Dhoni faced a legal notice from the state-owned Karnataka Soaps and Detergents Ltd.

Dhoni was representing the brand from 2006. He had signed a two year deal, but he had failed to live up to the obligations mentioned in the deal. Dhoni had to set aside 10 days to the KSDL company, but he managed to provide just three days.

The KSDL sued Dhoni for 40 lakhs. The original deal was for Rs 84.85 lacs, which saw an early termination after Dhoni failed to deliver.

#5 Conflict of interest as Indian captain

Dhoni owned 15% of Rhiti Sports

All of Dhoni's endorsements are handled by Rhiti Sports Management Private Limited. The company also represents Ravindra Jadeja and Suresh Raina, in addition to taking care of marketing of the Chennai Super Kings.

For a period of about a month, MS Dhoni owned 30,000 shares of Rhiti Sports of Rs 10 each. This caused a major conflict of interest.

Dhoni being the captain of the Indian team, with a voice in the selection of the players, was also part owner of a company which managed certain players and their endorsements.

Soon as this came to light, Rhiti Sports backtracked and removed Dhoni from a position of conflict. They issued a statement saying, "As on date, MSD holds no shareholding in Rhiti Sports Management (P) Ltd. However, it is made clear that shareholding was allotted to MSD on 22.03.2013 only to secure certain old outstandings which were due for more than one year.

"It is made clear that the Management of Rhiti Sports Management (P) Ltd understands its obligations to the field of sport and the country and adheres to the laws of the land." the statement said.

Edited by Staff Editor


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