Stung by speculation in the press, L’Oréal Paris has moved forcefully to deny that Bollywood actress Aishwarya Rai Bachchan has been dropped as one of its faces.

This story first appeared in the January 12, 2011 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

It’s “absolutely untrue,” the company said in a statement. “While she remains an integral part of the L’Oréal Paris worldwide dream team, she was unfortunately unavailable for our New Year commercial shoot due to prior commitments,” the statement continued.

Bachchan has been the face of L’Oréal Paris since 2000. Her absence from the commercial prompted some publications to speculate that she is being replaced by Freida Pinto, widely known for her role in “Slumdog Millionaire.” Pinto is already one of the brand ambassadors for L’Oréal Paris.

The company concluded, “[Aishwarya] is one of the most iconic women of our times and is certainly the face of L’Oréal Paris internationally and in India for a range of products which include campaigns for Total Repair 5, Excellence Crème, Color Riche and HydraFresh.”

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