Indian authorities ask Pierce Brosnan to 'explain' role as ad controversy resurfaces

Irish actor Pierce Brosnan has been asked by authorities in India to explain why his image has been associated with an ad for a local mouth freshener associated with an addictive form of chewing tobacco.

The BBC report that the Meath born actor could be fined 5,000 rupees (£56) or go to jail for two years if he doesn't respond within 10 days.

The move has rekindled a controversy that erupted in 2016 when the former Bond actor condemned the "unauthorised" use of his image in the ad when it first appeared in 2016.

"We have issued the notice to Pierce Brosnan through the company, and also reached out to him via social media platforms," officials from Delhi's health department told the Indian Express.

The BBC also report how Pan Bahar is commonly associated with pan masala and gutka, a potent mixture of tobacco, crushed betel nut, lime, and clove among other ingredients.

The product is chewed by millions of people who it is suggested get addicted to its mildly psychotropic effects.

In 2016 Mr Brosnan told People Magazine that he was “deeply shocked and saddened” at the controversy.

“As a man who has spent decades championing women’s healthcare and environmental protection, I was distressed to learn of Pan Bahar’s unauthorized and deceptive use of my image to endorse their range of pan masala products,” the statement read. “I would never have entered into an agreement to promote a product in India that is dangerous to one’s health.”

- Digital Desk

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