Former James Bond Pierce Brosnan has reprised his 007 role for an Indian advertising campaign for a chewing tobacco that many say is more akin to a hypnotic drug with serious side effects.
The bearded former Bond is shown advertising a product called Pan Bahar, a chewable product made of tobacco, betel nut, clove and lime. It’s regularly used by people in south-east Asian countries and is often promoted as a breath freshener.
However, opponents to the product say it’s highly addictive, can produce psychotic effects and can lead to mouth cancers and tumours. Each tin is forced to carry a government warning that says it’s“injurious to health”.
Check Brosnan’s TVC out here:
A print ad featuring Brosnan and a tin of Pan Bahar also appeared on the front page of The Times Of India last Friday.
However, some in India have questioned the choice of Brosnan to front the campaign. Firstly, he’s not Indian and secondly he doesn’t use the product anyway. It’s not clear how much Brosnan was paid to endorse the product.
The use of Pan Bahar – or the more generic term paan masala – is widespread among many Indian men who have yellowing tongues and stained teeth because of it.
Indian cancer specialist Dr Rishal Rao was quoted in media as saying of the Brosnan endorsement: “We know today that we are the world capital for mouth cancers. India removes so many jaws, throats, tongues.
“My message to Pierce Brosnan is do not endorse a product you do not use,” Rao said.