Pierce Brosnan has recently been in the news for endorsing New Delhi-based, DJ Group’s, Pan Bahar breath fresher that appeared in front page of leading newspapers across India.
The ad led to general public and netizens in India criticising the actor for his choice of endorsement as Pan Bahar contains ingredients such as nuts, seeds, herbs and spices and tobacco. It is often accused of including cancer causing ingredients and associated with bad health and is also blamed for the red-colored spit stains visible in public areas in India.
The former 007 star has since apologised for having appeared in the advertisement in newspapers in front-page advertisement where Bronsan was seen holding a tin of Pan Bahar.
Produced by DDB-Mudra, the advertisement said, “Class never goes out of style.” He was also seen in a YouTube ad for the company, where he performed stunts using Pan Bahar tin as his weapon.
In a statement to the People, he said that the use of his image in the advertising campaign was “unauthorized and deceptive” and is a violation of his contract.
He claimed to be unaware about the fact that the product contacted harmful ingredients and had only agreed to promote it if it was completely natural and harmless. According to Brosnan, company manipulated the campaign and made it seem like he was brand ambassador for an entire line of products.
“As a man who has spent decades championing women’s healthcare and environmental protection, I was distressed to learn of Pan Bahar’s unauthorized and deceptive use of my image to endorse their range of pan masala products,” the statement read. “I would never have entered into an agreement to promote a product in India that is dangerous to one’s health.” added the statement.
Brosnan’s contract details that he was to advertise a “breath freshener/tooth whitener,” which wouldn’t include an ingredient that turns saliva red.
Brosnan said he agreed to advertise a single product only, and that it was presented as “all-natural containing neither tobacco, supari, nor any other harmful ingredient.”
“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 health care and research programs that improve human health and alleviate suffering,” the statement continued.
The James Bond actor said he demanded that the company remove his image from all their products, and assured that he had no knowledge that he was endorsing items that would have a negative or painful reaction in India.
He added that Pan Bahar “grossly manipulated” media outlets to falsely present him as a brand ambassador for their entire line of products, something he writes is “in violation of my contract.”
He further apologized in the statement, and said “I shall endeavor to rectify this matter,” the statement concluded. “In the meantime, please accept my sincerest and heartfelt apologies to all whom I have offended.”