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September 11, 2002 | 2000 IST

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Fiat, TVS will not air
Tendulkar advertisements

Auto majors Fiat India Ltd and TVS Motor Company Ltd, the main sponsors of Sachin Tendulkar, have decided not to air their television and print commercials featuring the batting maestro during the ICC Champions Trophy, beginning in Colombo on Thursday.

"Our association with Sachin is very long. He is our brand ambassador and we don't want to embarrass him by airing commercials that could put him in trouble. We also have decided to re-strategise our ads for the coming World Cup," Fiat India director (commercial) Vijay Chandorikar said on Wednesday.

He said the company is not very clear about the sponsorship contract Tendulkar signed with the ICC, but in order to support the batsman, Fiat will not air any of 'Palio' advertisements featuring Tendulkar during the September 12 to 29 tournament.

The company did not say whether it will also not air its advertisements 17 days after the tournament as agreed to by the cricketers.

However, TVS Group's TVS Motor Company made an official announcement, stating it has waived the contractual agreement clause for Tendulkar, who they had signed up as brand ambassador last February, for the entire period.

"In our opinion ICC's demand is legally untenable and it cannot be enforced, but in order to support Tendulkar we will be off air, both TV and print, from tomorrow till October 14," general manager Harish Krishnamachar told reporters.

Tendulkar, in a video message, said: "In this tough period, TVS has helped me play cricket without any pressure. I am happy that my sponsors are backing me."

Complete Coverage: The ICC Contract Row

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