Harbhajan slaps legal notice on UB Group for Dhoni ad

New Delhi/Bangalore: Indian off-spinner Harbhajan Singh has sent a legal notice to Vijay Mallya-owned UB Group over an advertisement of McDowell’s No. 1 Platinum featuring his team captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

In the ad, Dhoni ridicules Harbhajan, who is the brand ambassador for Pernod Ricard’s Royal Stag. McDowell’s and Royal Stag are the competing whiskey brands. Alcohol advertising is banned in India but this is done through the surrogate route.

Harbhajan’s lawyers, Dewani Advocates and Consultants, have served a legal notice stating that the McDowell’s No. 1 Platinum commercial makes a mockery of Harbhajan, his family and the Sikh community.

Prakesh Mirpuri, vice president (corporate communication of UB Group), said the company was yet to receive the legal notice from Harbhajan’s lawyers.

“No comments at this point of time, as we are yet to receive the (legal) notice. We will respond at an appropriate time,” Mirupuri told IANS.

The legal notice seeks 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.

“My client is serving you with the instant notice to give you an opportunity to accept your mistake and make amends. Failing this, we will have no other alternative than to take appropriate legal action including that of filing proceedings for defamation, damages and all such civil as well as criminal actions,” said the notice, signed by lawyer Shyam Dewani.

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