The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Big B takes a break from ICICI Bank

Calcutta, July 22: The Big-B will no longer appear in ICICI Bank’s commercials regularly as the bank has decided not to renew the superstar’s contract. However, it will approach him for individual assignments.

Amitabh Bachchan was roped in as the brand ambassador of the bank almost two-and-a-half years ago. “We will not renew the contract with Amitabh Bachchan Corporation Limited (ABCL). But we have informed ABCL that we may approach the superstar as and when required,” a senior official of the bank said.

ICICI Bank may retain Bachchan as a brand ambassador for the international markets. The bank has recently got approvals for opening a branch in Singapore and representative offices in Dubai and China. It is also setting up subsidiaries in London and Canada and an off-shore banking unit in Mumbai.

Ogilvy and Mather, the bank’s advertising agency, has been informed about the decision and the advertisements featuring Bachchan have been taken off the air for a while.

According to advertising industry watchers, ICICI Bank found it too expensive to renew the superstar’s contract.

The bank feels that withdrawal of Bachchan’s campaign will not hurt the bank’s business. “Big-B has been successful in introducing the bank to the customers. ICICI Bank has now become a household name,” they added.

In November 2000, ICICI had signed on Amitabh Bachchan as its brand ambassador. Under the agreement, he was to promote products and services offered by ICICI and its group companies for a period of two years.

According to the agreement, Bachchan would be endorsing the main products offered by the ICICI group distributed through its technology-enabled network of more than 100 branches, 343 ATMs, round-the-clock call centres, on-line banking, close to 100 ICICI centres spread throughout the country and various offices of the group firms.

The products endorsed by him were ICICI Bank credit cards, launched in January 2000 and with more than 90,000 customers; home loans and car loans, both of which have shown significant growth; ICICI Safety Bonds;

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