New Delhi: Hollywood star and heartthrob Pierce Brosnan perhaps had the least idea he would be falling into trouble for promoting an Indian ‘paan masala’ (mouth freshener) brand which has been linked to chewing tobacco.
The actor has been showcaused for his association with the brand.
According to The Indian Express, an official said that if Pierce Brosnan did not respond to the showcause notice filed against him by the Delhi government then he could face a fine of Rs 5,000 or two years in prison.
The health department had sent a notice to the actor for appearing in a “surrogate advertisement” for an Indian paan masala brand.
On Monday, the department issued a notice under the Cigarette and Other Tobacco Products Act, 2003, that bans all kind of direct and indirect advertisements of tobacco products.
Additional Director (Health) SK Arora told the national daily that the department had received information on the company promoting the “surrogate product” through different media platforms.
“We have issued the notice to Pierce Brosnan through the company, and also reached out to him via social media platforms. If he fails to respond to the notice, he would face punishment of a fine up to Rs 5,000 or two years in prison,” added Arora.
The Delhi government argued that areca nut or ‘supari’ is a cancer-causing agent. The Irish actor has been given 10 days to clarify his position.
Brosnan had earlier said his contract stated that he was to advertise a “breath freshener/ tooth whitener” and that he was shocked by the deceptive use of his image in the ‘paan masala’ brand’s advertisement.
The actor 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.”
Brosnan starred in a James Bond-style spoof commercial for Paan Bahar, a brand of paan masala - a product meant to refresh the palate and aid digestion - in 2016.
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 actor revealing that his 'secret weapon' hidden in his tuxedo is a jar of ‘Paan Bahar’....