Not only were Indians shocked to see Pierce Brosnan starring in a series of ads endorsing a local product, but they were surprised to see him endorse Pan Bahar. The sight of the former James Bond actor endorsing pan masala inspired countless jokes on Twitter too.
But Brosnan might be gracing our TV screens with Pan Bahar anymore, thanks Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) chief Pahlaj Nihalani. Legally and constitutionally, all ads promoting alcohol and tobacco products are banned from all cinema television and electronic media.
The CBFC chief spoke to DNA about the issue: "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. However, he has chosen to do what he has done. But there is no way we can certify the ad. All pan masala, tobacco, alcohol ads are automatically and unconditionally banned."
So Brosnan won’t be seen on national or satellite television. Even liquor ads starring Shah Rukh Khan, Saif have been previously banned, claims Nihalani.
Previously Pan Bahar had given this particular statement to The Indian Express:
“As we support our country’s ‘Make in India’ campaign, we are proud to have Mr. Brosnan on board and would like to thank him for lending his image for the short film of Pan Bahar and taking the brand to next level while making it classier with his elegance and style. There is rave on social media regarding the new (ad) however we believe there is lack of awareness about the product that Mr. Brosnan has done a short film for – a Pan Masala (Indian mouth freshener) which has Betelnut, Lime, Catechu, Cardamom seeds, Sandal wood oil, and Kewara in it and there is NO Tobacco No Nicotine content in this product. Also confirming there is no tobacco product under this brand name… attached (is) the certificate for the declaration of NO Tobacco, No Nicotine from the brand. We need to convey the same to media so that they are aware of the fact before publishing any negative comments.”
The ad may be banned, but it has left an impression on everyone's mind and done its job.