Aryan Khan case: Edtech major Byju's temporarily halts ads featuring Shah Rukh Khan

Shankar RajUpdated: Saturday, October 09, 2021, 10:56 PM IST
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Shah Rukh Khan and Aryan Khan | Instagram

Bengaluru: Bengaluru-based education-tech major Byju’s has pressed the pause button on all promos and adverts featuring Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan.

Khan was the icon and brand ambassador of the learning app and the move to unplug Khan comes soon after the arrest and ongoing investigation against his son Aryan Khan in a drug bust probe.

Sources said that Byju’s had to face a lot of flak and fire on social media following the alleged involvement of SRK’s son in the drug case. Stakeholders in Byju’s also reportedly flagged concern, especially since it involves an ethical issue and kids are the main audience on the app.

The company had reportedly made advance bookings for a series of ads to coincide with the coming festival season. According to ET, Byju’s pays Rs 3-4 crore annually to Khan to endorse the brand. The actor has been a brand ambassador of the brand since 2017.

Though Byju’s did not put out its version, reports indicated that the company would not like to be associated with the Bollywood superstar till Aryan Khan is cleared of all charges. However, it is not clear if the company has dropped the actor as its brand ambassador altogether.

While Byju’s is one of the largest sponsorship deals for SRK, the superstar is also the face for a number of companies like Hyundai, LG, Dubai Tourism, and Reliance Jio among others.

Byju’s has had a phenomenal growth, mainly propelled by aggressive ad campaigns featuring SRK and was valued at $16.5 billion in April. Market sources said the company is reportedly in talks with investors to raise around $1.5 billion at a valuation of $20-21 billion and did not want the drug case to sully its image.

Byju’s was on a buying spree this year and acquired nine businesses. The ed-tech giant is also exploring an initial public offering (IPO) which could value the company at around $40 billion - $45 billion.

The company’s founder Byju Ravindran and family is valued Rs 24,300 crore, according to IIFL Wealth Hurun India Rich List 2021.

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