Mercedes Benz bosses refused to let moviemaker Danny Boyle use one of their cars in his acclaimed new movie SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE - because the motors are driven by Indian gangsters in the film.
The Trainspotting director wanted to be as authentic as possible when it came to showing the Indian underworld without busting his tight budget, so he approached Mercedes and asked them to loan him a vehicle in return for product placement.
The car ginat seemed happy to help - until they realised who would be driving the car in the movie.
Boyle says, "Mercedes don't want one of their cars driving around the slums in India, which they do because the gangsters drive them."
So Boyle had to rent a Mercedes - because any other car would have been out of place: "It's the status symbol. It would've been completely fake for me not to do it in a Mercedes."
And he had other issues with product placement, which would have boosted his budget.
He adds, "Coca-Cola don't want to be seen in a rubbish dump (scene) giving drinks to (the orphaned) children, so we had to change the brand.
"It bugs me badly because a film like James Bond opens and it's just a walking advertising board for luggage, wristwatches, f**king credit cards; it's just obscene. The fact that we were banned from using something that's a real part of life is incredible.
"We had to pay for the Mercedes car; it was a day hire. I personally think it's awful."