NEW DELHI: Telecom service provider MTS India has roped in Bollywood actor Imran Khan as its brand ambassador for two years. The 10-crore deal makes the Delhi Belly star the latest one to join a long list of celebrities, including Shah Rukh Khan, Abhishek Bachchan and MS Dhoni, endorsing telecom service companies. While it’s the first time that Sistema Shyam TeleServices’ brand has taken the celebrity plunge, Imran already endorses Coke and Levi’s jeans.
However, MTS India spokesman and celebrity management firm Kwan Entertainment, which doesn’t manage Khan but helped him in striking this deal, declined to comment.
“Imran will promote MTS through mass media, online and below-the-line promotional activities. He will also be part of Red Energy, a youth-centric online activity for the brand,” an official directly involved with the developments said.
While the 2G scam has not deterred telecom firms from wooing celebrity endorsers, it has impacted their ad spends. Eight of the country’s top 10 TV advertisers during January-September this year were consumer goods makers. Idea Cellular was the only telecom firm in the ranking, according to the media research firm TAM.
The telecom sector has been facing tough times with raging controversy on 2G spectrum allocation, rock-bottom tariffs, sliding average revenue per user, thinning margins and falling profits. High interest costs, banks shying away from lending and 3G roaming agreements being disputed by the government add to the sector’s problems.
Approval and introduction of the new telecom policy that would have allowed liberal merger and acquisition norms and helped in consolidation of the sector, has been pushed back by nearly half a year. This may further add to telcos’ woes.
Imran Khan to endorse MTS in Rs 10-crore deal