Pierce Brosnan: Distressed at Pan Bahar’s “deceptive use” of image

Hollywood actor Pierce Brosnan, who was criticised for endorsing a pan masala brand, said that he was “distressed” at the brand’s “unauthorised and deceptive use” of his image.

In an exclusive interview to People magazine, Brosnan, popular for playing British spy James Bond in films, said, "I would never have entered into an agreement to promote a product in India that is dangerous to one's health."

"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," the actor said in the statement.

Brosnan claimed that according to his contract he was to advertise a "breath freshener/tooth whitener" which wouldn't include an ingredient that turns saliva red. He had agreed to advertise a single product only, and it was presented as "all-natural containing neither tobacco, supari, nor any other harmful ingredient," Brosnan stated.

Brosnan said he has demanded that the company remove his image from all their products. A comment from the manufacturers of Pan Bahar was not immediately available.

Two weeks ago, on October 7, the Pan Bahar ad campaign kicked off and national dailies carried a full front page advertisement of Brosnan holding a can of Pan Bahar, along with his signature. The television commercial too had all the trappings of a James Bond film where the weapon of destruction was a can of Pan Bahar.

Soon after, social media went berserk with some users making fun of the actor for promoting pan masala, while others criticised him and wondered whether he was even aware of what he was selling. The actor also started trending on the micro-blogging site.