Virat Kohli may have given it away by liking the brand's Instagram post which used the actress' photos without permission.
What was supposedly a brewing case of Puma India’s unauthorised use of Anushka Sharma’s photographs has revealed itself as part one of a drama that will most likely end with the actress being announced as the sportswear brand’s new ambassador.
Sharma raged against Puma India on Instagram saying it should have known to “take permission before you can use my imagery for publicity since I’m not your ambassador. Please take it down!”
The sportswear giant’s indifference to the actress’ fury shocked a few but most were not because her husband and present Puma India ambassador Virat Kohli had liked the Instagram post; a near giveaway that it was all a promotion for the upcoming announcement .
The next move from Puma India — a plea asking her to consider them for ambassadorship — surprised nobody. Neither was Anushka Sharma’s response via Instagram stories saying “I’ll sleep on it” and the subsequent video she shared today (20 December 2022).
Once done, Sharma will join Kohli who signed up with Puma India in 2017 for a deal reportedly worth Rs 100 crore.
While the formal announcement of the deal is awaited, this mock fight on the misuse of a celebrity face for publicity is noteworthy.
Why? Because of callousness. In 2021, shuttler PV Sindhu’s sports marketing agency Baseline Ventures sent legal notices to 20 brands that used her name and photographs in ads congratulating her on winning a bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympics 2021.
More recently, people questioned e-commerce brand Myntra for using Ranveer Singh’s photoshoot images for Paper Magazine for a social media post; it was to make a sarcastic remark against his nude photoshoot but the question of whether Myntra sought permission from Paper magazine before using the image sprung up.