Pierce Brosnan called out over tobacco ad

Publish Date
Thursday, 15 February 2018, 9:50AM

Pierce Brosnan has been ordered by Indian authorities to explain why he appeared in advertisements for a mouth freshener which has been linked to chewing tobacco.

Brosnan starred in a James Bond-style spoof commercial for Pan Bahar, a brand of pan masala - a product meant to refresh the palate and aid digestion - in 2016 according to DailyMail.

A court in Delhi, India, where advertising tobacco products is banned, has demanded Brosnan's explanation within ten days, or he could face a two year jail sentence or be fined 5,000 rupees (£56).

Pierce Brosnan, 2017 in New York City. Photo / Getty

'We have issued the notice to Pierce Brosnan through the company, and also reached out to him via social media platforms,' officials from Delhi's health department told the Indian Express.

The ad, seen on Indian TV channels, newspapers and billboards, sees Brosnan play a Bond-like hero, grappling with villains, flirting with women and driving a high-end sports car.

It ends with the 64-year-old Irishman revealing that his 'secret weapon' hidden in his tuxedo is a jar of Pan Bahar.

Many types of pan masala do contain tobacco, but the makers of Pan Bahar claims that their product does not.

Despite this, Brosnan was criticised when the adverts were first broadcast and he soon condemned Pan Bahar, claiming that they had lied to him and misused his image.

He claimed he was 'deceived' and that his contract said he was endorsing 'breath freshener' or 'tooth whitener' containing 'neither tobacco, supari, nor any other harmful ingredient'.

Brosnan made further accusations against the company, saying that they had 'manipulated' media agencies into thinking he was an ambassador for the product and apologised to anyone he may have offended, mentioning his own losses due to cancer.

He said: 'Having endured, in my own personal life, the loss of my first wife and daughter as well as numerous friends to cancer, I am fully committed to supporting women's healthcare and research programs that improve human health and alleviate suffering.