Latest reports in financial and other media have said that Deepika Padukone’s brand value has greatly suffered after her so-called ‘PR stunt’ showing solidarity with protesting students at the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) in New Delhi, just before the release of her new film Chhapaak.
They add that Chhapaak has failed at the box-office following the widespread #BoycottChhapaak call on social media. Buzz has it that certain brands are reducing the visibility of ads featuring Deepika. However, Bollywood’s only PR guru Dale Bhagwagar strongly disagrees with these reports.
“Though Bollywood and activism are best kept apart, I do not agree that Deepika’s brand will severely be dented in the long run. If she handles her appearances well, it will not even take the public two-three weeks to move on. Deepika will bounce back,” says the Bollywood publicist.
However he analyses that some firms may take some time to come to terms with the recent developments. “The corporate world is not as chilled out as Bollywood. The film industry can take controversies in their stride and move on pretty fast. But for the ad world, turnarounds have to be handled deftly and delicately,” Dale points out.
“Having said that, it does not mean Deepika’s fortunes will dwindle. While many of the existing corporate brands should stay loyal, it is possible that her portfolio of endorsements may look a little different in future. Not small; just different.”
Much will depend on how she handles the crisis management part from here, opines the PR expert. “After the Chhapaak controversy, Deepika was seen handing out award trophies to photographers at the Press Club in Mumbai, celebrating milestones achieved by INOX and also at promotions of the Salman Khan-hosted reality show Bigg Boss. That’s already a fresh start.”
However, we wonder if sucking up to media by handing out award trophies would help her tainted brand. Though we secretly wish that Dale’s words are proven right. After all, we want to see more of Deepika’s powerhouse performances including her glowing face and sparkling smile.