Pierce Brosnan under fire over advert in India

A newspaper with a front page advertisment of former 007 star Pierce Brosnan endorsing an Indian mouth freshener is seen on the streets of New Delhi

"We have issued the notice to Pierce Brosnan through the company, and also reached out to him via social media platforms", Additional Director (Health) S K Arora told Indian Express.

The Delhi government has asked global actor Pierce Brosnan to explain why he appears in a commercial for an Indian brand's paan masala advertisement, and has given him 10 days to respond or face jail time of two years or a fine of Rs 5,000, PTI reported.

The 64-year-old Dante's Peak and Mamma Mia star could be fined 5000 rupees (NZ$107) or go to prison for two years if he doesn't respond to the show-cause notice in 10 days.

On Monday the Delhi health department issued a show-cause notice to the Irish actor demanding he explain his appearance in the commercials, which it claims were a form of "surrogate advertisement" meant to evade a ban on promoting tobacco. It is not clear how this can be enforced if Brosnan fails to reply.

The campaign was shut down after causing an uproar, including from Brosnan, who said he was "deeply shocked and saddened" that his picture had been used to advertise a unsafe harmful product.

Brosnan has already denounced Pan Bahar after learning it may contain tobacco; he claims the company lied to him about its ingredients and misused his image.

The specific Pan Bahar product that Brosnan's image was used to promote did not contain tobacco, but other goods sold by the company do, according to The Guardian.

"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.

Both pan masala and gutka have been linked to cancer, with many Indian states banning their sale and running campaigns to discourage people from buying them.

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