The Vijay Mallya-owned UB Group has finally decided to withdraw the controversial advertisement which showed Dhoni making fun of Harbhajan’s role in a commercial for rival Pernod Ricard’s Royal Stag.
The UB Group said in a statement from its lawyer that Mallya had “graciously chosen to replace the commercial based on larger national cricketing interests, particularly at a time when the Indian team is engaged in a crucial test series”.
“Despite clear-cut legal opinion and the view of the management that there is no maintainable case, and further keeping in mind that the commercial can be used by vested interests to further their own agenda, in the interest of the game of cricket, Dr Mallya has graciously chosen to replace the current commercial.
“The UB Group and Dr Vijay Mallya are very closely involved with and have a significant stake in cricket and would never disparage any cricketer. Clearly, the letter received by us has been instigated by vested interests with mischievous intent.”
The UB group and Vijay Mallya through legal counsel responded to the notice received by them from the Advocates for Avtar Kaur, mother of Harbhajan Singh.
Harbhajan’s lawyers, Dewani Advocates and Consultants, had served a legal notice stating that the McDowell’s No. 1 Platinum commercial makes a mockery of Harbhajan, his family and the Sikh community.
The legal notice demanded an “unconditional public apology to Bhajji’s family in all widely read newspapers as well as television channels prominently” and withdrawal of the commercial within three days of receiving it.
Both Royal Stag and McDowell`s No 1 are competing whiskey brands in the market, coming in the same price band.