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Aishwarya: Still L'Oreal's best face

It seems like Bollywood's Queen Bee Aishwarya Rai Bachchan is forever having to defend her position as brand ambassador of L'Oreal from younger, newer actresses.

Last year, it was Sonam Kapoor who followed up her product endorsement with some ill-chosen remarks about being on the right side of 30.

This year, it's Indian export to Hollywood, Freida Pinto's turn in the L'Oreal spotlight with a Happy New Year TV commercial for the brand. But Aishwarya can put the claws away for the moment as L'Oreal officials deny any plans to have the Slumdog star replace her as the brand ambassador.

"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. She is one of the most iconic women of our times and is certainly the face of L'Oreal Paris internationally and in India for a range of products which include campaigns for Total Repair 5, Excellence Crème, Color Riche, Hydrafresh," the statement added.

Ash joined Andie Macdowell, Eva Longoria and Penelope Cruz as one of the faces of the French cosmetics giant in 2005. The L'Oreal ambassadorship was her first step to international glory, taking her to the Cannes red carpet and from there to Hollywood fame.  

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