The Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC) has taken offense to a recent advertisement featuring Tollywood actor Allu Arjun. The advertisement for bike taxi app Rapido, which is being aired on YouTube, shows the actor telling audiences that state buses take too long, while commuting via a Rapido bike is faster and safer. Playing a street side dosa seller, he tells a customer that travelling by a crowded public transport bus would mince a commuter who is like a regular dosa into a masala dosa, suggesting that using Rapido is more convenient. However, in the ad, Allu Arjun points to an Andhra Pradesh bus on the Veeravasaram route, a village in West Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh.
The advertisement has drawn flak from a section of the audience, including regular RTC commuters and employees. â€śDemeaning the TSRTC will neither be tolerated by the TSRTC management nor by the commuters, admirers and our own and retired employees,â€ť VC Sajjanar, IPS, Managing Director of the TSRTC, said in a statement. He also said that the TSRTC is â€śin the service of the common manâ€ť, and in this light, it intends to send a legal notice to Allu Arjun and the firm promoting the advertisement. â€śIn fact, actors should act in the advertisements which promote public transport for a better and environmentally cleaner society,â€ť the IPS officer said.
VC Sajjanar was previously the Cyberabad Police Commissioner. He was later transferred and appointed as the MD of the TSRTC MD in August. In the statement, he urged actors and celebrities to prevent the promotion of content that speaks against public transport.
Allu Arjun, who currently awaits the release of the much-anticipated multi-lingual film Pushpa: The Rise - Part 1, is also a brand ambassador for a host of brands, including jewellery store chain JoyAlukkas, 7Up, and the Sri Chaitanya group of institutions.
Every morning we have two choices.â€” Rapido (@rapidobikeapp) November 5, 2021
To wait in line at the bus stop & travel as a human sandwich
OR, to waltz through traffic & smell like a hundred armpits.
So as Guru a.k.a. @alluarjun rightly says- Ato, ito, eto ekkei Rapido! #SmartHoTohRapido pic.twitter.com/wbSX6rjWEJ