Pierce Brosnan could face a 2-year jail sentence in India after appearing in print and TV ads for a local product reportedly containing tobacco linked to cancer back in 2016.
Brosnan’s image appeared on an advertisement campaign for Pan Bahar, an Indian mouth freshener brand, which has been known to include an addictive type of chewing tobacco in its products.
Pierce Brosnan thought he was endorsing a, “tooth whitener.”
Pan Bahar does whiten your teeth.
They fall out.
Then you get brand new ones.
— Sorabh Pant (@hankypanty) October 21, 2016
The former James Bond star is in trouble since advertising tobacco products is illegal in India, reports Indian Express.
If Pan Bahar is a tooth whitener, Gutkha is acrylic emulsion for walls. https://t.co/u4O3EnxGs4
— Rofl Indian (@Roflindian) October 20, 2016
The ad campaign was immediately canceled after causing a massive public uproar.
#PierceBrosnan thought #PanBahar was a tooth whitener. And dis guy was James Bond for 10 years. Saala isse smart to apna Byomkesh Bakshy hai
— Abhijeet Bhatt (@foonyguy) October 21, 2016
While the specific product that the 64-year-old actor promoted actually did not contain tobacco, other types of the pan masala product do.
When the backlash erupted in 2016, Brosnan released a statement to People, saying he was “deeply shocked and saddened” that his photo was used to represent a potentially dangerous product.
He added that he felt “grossly manipulated” by the Pan Bahar as he thought he was promoting a “breath freshener/tooth whitener [and] all-natural, containing neither tobacco, supari nor any other harmful ingredient.”
Brosnan was served with a legal notice seeking his explanation for appearing in the ads last week.
His failure to respond within ten days could land the actor in jail or result in a fine of 5,000 Indian Rupees ($77).
Feature Image via YouTube/ET BrandEquity