Pan masala for mouthwash!

pan bahar

The former James Bond Pierce Brosnan states he was duped into sponsoring an addictive product.

Most of the showy new Hollywood stars and the has-beens of the movie and music world appear to ride the way of Asia when it comes to advertisement deals, as it can be lucrative stuffing of their bank accounts.

Significant names such as Arnold Schwarzenegger and Eddie Murphy have inked huge endorsement contracts; consequently, it wasn’t extraordinary when the former James Bond star, Pierce Brosnan accepted to do a commercial in India, living on his old super spy glory.

Evidently, the endorsement was rather problematic, and it came as a blow to Brosnan himself. It turns out that what he was recommending was an addictive, chewing tobacco-like product known in India as pan masala.

Indian company Pan Bahar hired him, and presumably, Brosnan believed he was making a commercial for “mouth freshener.” Apparently the commercial prominently advertises a label bearing those messages on the canister in his hands.

But Pan Bahar is mostly recognized for its pan masala line of products, a mixture of betel leaf and areca nut denounced by medical professionals for its psychoactive properties, addictiveness, and carcinogenic effects.

Pan masala is frowned upon as it is chewed and then spat out, and is noted for the characteristic red stains it leaves in the mouth.

The company’s website which is currently offline, hence it’s not clear if Pan Bahar was venturing to branch out into a non-carcinogenic “mouth freshener” product, as well.

Whether or not that’s the situation, it marketed Brosnan’s image for a full-page newspaper ad, showing him clutching a container labeled “pan masala”—something Brosnan vehemently disputes was part of his contract.

“I was distressed to learn of Pan Bahar’s unauthorized and deceptive use of my image to endorse their range of pan masala products,” Brosnan told People, asserting that he’d been hired to promote a single product, an “all-natural containing neither tobacco, supari”—the active ingredient in pan masala—“nor any other harmful ingredient.”

Brosnan has been widely ridiculed online in India for his support of the product, an association that’s probably made all the more unpleasant by the fact that the actor has lost several close family members to cancer, and has given years raising funds for cancer research and support. Brosnan is demanding that the ad campaign is pulled.

Meanwhile, Pan Bahar fired back, issuing a statement saying, ‘The advertisement was made as per the contract between Pierce Brosnan and the company, following all the formalities.”

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