Pierce Brosnan, Hollywood actor known for his role as James Bond, is furious over his image being used in a mouther freshener ad in India. The actor claims that he feels cheated after finding out that the product he is seen promoting contains ingredients that have been linked to cancer.
Brosnan faced backlash when his image was seen on a Pan Bahar advertisement.
The highly-additive type of chewing tobacco is said to have psychotropic effects, too. The actor claims that Ashok & Co., the company behind the product, did not disclose the nature of the product to Brosnan. He claims that he will add his support in efforts to stop similar campaigns from occurring in the future.
“In a written reply to the Delhi State Tobacco Control Cell, the actor stated that he was cheated by the company as the latter did not disclose the hazardous nature of the product and other terms and conditions of the contract of advertisement,” according to local press.
The actor claims the original contract with the company claims he would be promoting a breath freshener / tooth whitener.
Indians around the country were appalled by the ad and took their anger out against Brosnan. Indians were shocked that the actor would promote “such a harmful product.” The actor demanded that the advertisements be taken down after realizing his image was being used to promote products that contain cancer-linked ingredients.
He demanded that the “unauthorized” use of his image be removed, but the company has failed to listen to the actor’s objections. Ads were displayed in cinemas and Indian households.
Pan Bahar told the BBC that their product does not contain tobacco, although the product is believed to be produced with tobacco or betel leaf, spices, stimulants and areca nut. The product, widely used in India, is known to leave stains in public areas where people spit the bright red product on the floor.
Areca nut has been classified as a Group 1 carcinogenic. Reports from the World Health Organization (WHO) claim that when the nut is mixed with tobacco that it greatly increases the risk of illness or death in the user.
Brosnan told People Magazine that his contract claims that the product contains “no tobacco or harmful ingredient.” Many Indian states have taken it upon themselves to ban the sale or advertisement of products linked to causing cancer.
“Pierce Brosnan has been interrogated by the authorities of Indian capital, Delhi, for why he agreed to promote a product that has addictive form of tobacco as an ingredient,” states Scrabbl.
The actor was given ten days to respond to authorities or face a $78 fine and faces up to 2 years in jail for not responding.
Officials are unsure of how failure to reply will be able to be enforced against the actor. Officials at Delhi’s health department claim that they have issued a notice to the actor and have tried reaching out to him on social media.
The company behind the product claims that there is a “public misconception” behind the company’s product. They claim that Brosnan was the perfect fit for the company thanks to his “suave, cool” qualities.