Flagship Research Quarterly of the Indian School of Business (ISB). Find out more

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Past Issue • Apr-Jun 2016

Celebrity Endorsements: An Issue in India Because of Higher Power Distance

Celebrity endorsement has come into the spotlight in India with recent controversies over products endorsed by well-known personalities. This is more of an issue in emerging markets like India because of the high credibility that celebrities carry. This phenomenon stems from the fact that power distance, or the acceptance of unequally distributed power, is high in countries like India. Recent research by Manish Gangwar, Assistant Professor, Marketing at the Indian School of Business (ISB), shows why this is a matter of concern.
Nestle India was embroiled late last year in an unseemly controversy over the usage of Monosodium glutamate (MSG) in its popular Maggi noodles with alleged excessive usage of the food additive even leading to a temporary withdrawal of the product from store shelves. While the company emerged unscathed from the controversy a collateral fallout has been the focus on celebrity endorsers, and the extent of their accountability for the quality and claims made by producers for the products they sell. Some of Maggi’s endorsers included Bollywood actors Amitabh Bachhan, Madhuri Dixit and Preity Zinta. The Maggi fiasco was soon followed by a controversy over cricketer M S Dhoni’s endorsement of the Amarpali housing project that kept newspaper headlines busy for several weeks.

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

  • Manish-G

    Manish Gangwar

    Manish Gangwar, Assistant Professor of Marketing at the Indian School of Business (ISB).
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