Coca-Cola India has decided not to renew its contract with Indian actor Salman Khan as brand ambassador for its popular soft drink “Thums Up”, PTI reported industry sources as saying.
Khan had recently been in the news after the Indian Motion Picture Producers' Association passed a resolution banning Pakistani actors, musicians and film technicians from Bollywood. Khan had spoken out against the ban, saying "they're artistes, not terrorists".
"Terrorism and art are two different subjects,” he had said.
In a joint statement with the actor, Coca-Cola India said, "Salman Khan was committed to an existing relationship with a daily TV show, which this year happens to be sponsored by a brand that competes with the Coca-Cola India product portfolio... In light of this, both parties have mutually decided not to renew the current contract."
PTI reported a source as saying the company is looking for a younger faces to associate with the brand, which it reportedly sees as "youthful". The company is reportedly in talks with Ranveer Singh to endorse the drink.
Khan's contract with the company expired last month.
Khan had first endorsed the brand in the early 2000s; Coca-Cola had then signed an agreement with his charity foundation Being Human to aid and execute its activities.
Khan was then roped in as brand ambassador for a second time in October 2012, when he replaced another Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar.