Aishwarya Rai Bachchan has not been dropped by the cosmetic company, L’Oreal Paris, as its brand ambassador as has been claimed in recent news articles, reports WWD.

It was said that the cosmetic giant dropped Aishwarya and roped in Frieda Pinto, of ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ fame in her stead. This rumour started as Aishwarya did not feature in the cosmetic brand’s latest ‘Happy New Year’ commercial. Frieda Pinto did make an appearance along with a host of other Hollywood stars.

The firm was quick to deny the news. “We are shocked and surprised to read in some sections of the media/press about Ms. Aishwarya Rai Bachchan being replaced as the face of L'Oreal Paris,' said an official statement from the firm. 'L'Oreal Paris strongly reiterates that this is absolutely untrue and that Ms. Aishwarya Rai Bachchan continues to be our valued spokesperson, as she has since 2000. While she remains an integral part of the L'Oreal Paris world wide Dream Team, she was unfortunately unavailable for our New Year commercial shoot due to prior commitments.”

Aishwarya Rai’s publicist refused to comment on the news saying that the actress was busy rehearsing for a show and did not have time to reply as she was not aware of any such development.

The appearance of Frieda Pinto in the new L’Oreal ad should come as no surprise. She has become a fixture in Hollywood after her role in Slumdog Millionaire. She has acted in Woody Allen’s ‘You Will Meet A Tall Dark Stranger’ and Julian Schnabel’s ‘Miral’. Her future projects include ‘Immortals’, co- starring Mickey Rourke and ‘Black Thirst’ with Antonio Banderas. Her Miral and You Will Meet… both were panned by critics and did not do too well at the box office, but she is the flavor of the day from India and may have a long innings ahead of her.

This is more than Aishwarya Rai can lay claim to. Her foray into Hollywood has been almost forgettable. She appeared in Pink Panther 2 and Last Legion; in the first she was hardly noticeable and the other flopped. Her appearance in the Oprah Winfrey show did not add much to her image. Her agent in Hollywood will have to do some major lobbying if she wants to remain in the Western public’s mind.
Her yearly forays at the Cannes film festival as L’Oreal fixture from India may also wane after some time, if the uncertainty continues.