Company drops singer Wang Leehom as spokesman because he is now 43

In July, Mandopop singer Wang Leehom posted a photograph which was used on the cover of Men's Health magazine.

In the caption, he wrote: "After lifting weights six times a week, for a year and a half, starting to see some results."

But that dedication in the gym is not enough to convince a sponsor not to cut ties - that started in 1998 - with him.

According to Oriental Daily, the mineral-water company has dropped him from its marketing campaigns because he is now 43 years old.

A spokesman said the company wants its Wahaha products to have a fresh, updated image - one which, it thinks, would be better highlighted by a younger celebrity.

It is giving its advertising strategy a facelift even though Wang reportedly had never asked the company for a higher endorsement fee over the many years of their relationship.

It seemed that that was his way to convey his gratitude to the company for taking a bet on him when he was just a newbie back in 1998.

But Wang is still an inspiration for many people.

In November, he was honoured with a Game Changer award at the US-Asia Entertainment Summit in Los Angeles.

Knowing how fickle supporters can be, he said then: "Whenever a young person asks me for advice, I would tell them to be kind to their family.

"Without your family's support, it'll be difficult to flourish in this industry."

Wang has also appeared in movies, including Lust, Caution (2007) and Little Big Soldier (2010).

This article was first published in The Straits Times. Permission required for reproduction.