Officials in the Indian capital Delhi say they have asked actor Pierce Brosnan to explain why he appeared in an ad for a local mouth freshener gum that has been linked with an addictive form of chewing tobacco.
James Bond actor Pierce Brosnan could face a fine or even jail in India if he fails to properly explain why he appeared in controversial advertisements for a chewing gum that contained tobacco.
Brosnan appeared to advertise the now banned gum nearly 18 months ago appearing in TV and newspaper advertisements for a brand of pan masala, a popular Indian gum that is made from ingredients including tobacco, lime, spices and nuts.
Pan masala also known as gutka, is chewed and spat out in bright red streams and is thought to be used by millions Indians everyday, a large number of whom then go onto develop an addiction for the gum. The gum has been banned in a number of Indian states.
The campaign was shut down after causing an uproar, including from Brosnan, who said he was “deeply shocked and saddened” that his picture had been used to advertise a dangerous harmful product. All tobacco advertising has banned in India since 2003, and government officials claim that the areca nut that is contained in the Pan masala is like tobacco is and is carcinogenic and addictive, thus is covered by the law.
Speaking to reporters health department director S K Arora said “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 (approximately $78; £56) or two years in prison.”