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Sahara denies media reports claiming BCCI's objection to TV ads

The media reports had claimed that the BCCI had asked the Sahara group, the Indian cricket team's sponsor, to withdraw advertisements for its 'Q' Shops featuring top players in controversial shots.

twitter-logoManu Kaushik | August 24, 2012 | Updated 21:46 IST

The Sahara group has denied recent media reports which claimed that the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) raised objections to its latest television advertisements for its retail venture.

The media reports had claimed that the BCCI had asked the Sahara group, the Indian cricket team's sponsor, to withdraw advertisements for its 'Q' Shops featuring top players in controversial shots. The advertisements showed Sachin Tendulkar performing the last rites at a funeral, Virender Sehwag replacing a cradle with a hospital bed, Yuvraj Singh digging a grave, and Virat Kohli bringing a wheelchair.

The reports are "baseless," a Sahara group spokesperson said. "We have served a legal notice on them (newspapers) for allowing their newsprint space to be used for such false claims. We are trying to ascertain where this fabrication has originated from."

The ad campaign, on air since August 15, promotes Sahara's "adulteration-free" retail shops. The group earlier this month announced its foray into the retail sector with an investment of Rs 3,000 crore. It launched its own brand of products across 73 different categories, such as staples, processed foods, personal care and home care products, which will be sold through a direct-to-home delivery system.

"The campaign has received appreciation from various sections of the society. The objective is to make people conscious of the dangers of adulteration, which the advertising has achieved," says the Sahara spokesperson.

The news reports also cited a BCCI official as saying that Sahara had breached the rules of the sponsorship agreement by featuring eight players in its advertisements while the board permits only three. The Sahara spokesperson said the claim is false and concocted. "There is no truth in this allegation and there is no such condition in the agreement."

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