Last week B&T brought you the rather odd campaign former 007 Pierce Brosnan did in India for a sort of chewing tobacco called Pan Bahar.
On its Indian release the ad was widely panned for using an Irish actor who clearly had never used the product in his life. While local health authorities slammed its promotion claiming Pan Bahar – or the more generic term paan masala – can produce psychotic effects and lead to mouth cancers and tumours. Paan masala is basically a chewing tobacco promoted as a breath mint and is widely used among Indian men.
The ad, which included a TVC and extensive print campaign, was quickly slammed in India and Brosnan himself trolled on Twitter.
Now comes news out of the subcontinent that the entire campaign has been banned by India’s Central Board Of Film Certification.
“I haven’t seen the ad. But it is very difficult to believe Pierce Brosnan has done this. Money can hardly be a criteria when you’re selling death to people,” Pahlaj Nihalani, chief of the Central Board Of Film Certification, was reported as saying on Indian media websites.
“However, he has chosen to do what he has done. But there is no way we can certify the ad. All paan masala, tobacco, alcohol ads are automatically and unconditionally banned.
“Even the liquor ads showing big stars like Shah Rukh and Saif, which pretend to sell non-alcohol products while actually selling the alcohol brand, are illegal. You can’t use a name associated with an alcohol to sell any other product. I repeat, all paan masala ads are banned by the government on all public platforms.”
Brosnan has not made any comment.