Man Dies During Taping of Unilever-Sponsored Reality Program
BATAVIA, Ohio (AdAge.com) -- A Pakistani man has died in Thailand during the taping of a reality show for Unilever's Clear dandruff shampoo, the company said, though the cause of death remains unclear pending completion of an autopsy.
It also wasn't immediately clear exactly when the man, Saad Khan, died. The news was originally reported Monday on Pakistani e-magazine Aarpix.com, then picked up yesterday by a handful of blogs and Twitter posters.
Aarpix, which was down for maintenance at press time, based its report on information from the man's cousin, who said Mr. Khan died during an "underwater challenge" posed by the show's host, Pakistani model Amina Sheikh, according to versions of the story posted on blogs.
The reality show was being produced in Bangkok, and Unilever isn't releasing additional details until Thai authorities complete their autopsy and investigation, said spokesman Tim Johns.
"This is a tragic accident," Mr. Johns said. "We were shocked by this event, and our sympathy goes out to his family. At the moment we're assessing the situation and hoping to get to the bottom of this."
Production of the show has been halted in the wake of the death, he said, but no decision has been made on whether it will be completed or air pending outcome of the investigation.
Unilever is Pakistan's biggest advertiser, with spending in 2007 of $20 million, according to Advertising Age's ranking of top global advertisers. Unilever is also Thailand's biggest advertiser, spending $164 million in 2007.