Pierce Brosnan’s apology seems half hearted and lame: Piyush Pandey | business-news | Hindustan Times
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Pierce Brosnan’s apology seems half hearted and lame: Piyush Pandey

Piyush Pandey, one of India’s celebrated adman and executive chairman and creative director of Ogilvy & Mather (India and South Asia) today said that James Bond actor Pierce Brosnan’s apology for endorsing Pan Bahar “seems half hearted and sounds like a bit of a lame excuse for not knowing what it was”.

business Updated: Oct 21, 2016 15:28 IST
Kalyan Subramani
Pierce Brosnan had apologised for endorsing the Indian pan masala brand Pan Bahar.
Pierce Brosnan had apologised for endorsing the Indian pan masala brand Pan Bahar.(Youtube)

Calling Pierce Brosnan’s apology for endorsing Pan Bahar “half-hearted”, one of India’s top admen Piyush Pandey said that the James Bond actor’s statement “sounds like a bit of a lame excuse for not knowing what it was”.

On Thursday Brosnan had apologised for endorsing the Indian pan masala brand Pan Bahar. He said he was “distressed” to learn of Pan Bahar’s “unauthorized and deceptive use” of his image in a pan masala ad.

“I would never have entered into an agreement to promote a product in India that is dangerous to one’s health,” Brosnan said in an exclusive statement to People magazine.

Speaking to Hindustan Times on the sidelines of the Brand Summit hosted by Confederation of Indian Industry in Bengaluru, Pandey said, “I haven’t seen the exact statement of Pierce Bronson but I know a little bit about it. I am a little surprised that a celebrity of this kind of stature who has a huge team of people going through the legal documents missed out on the fine print is a little difficult to believe for me. I have worked with the likes of (Argentine football star) Lionel Messi , (actor) Jackie Chan. There were entourage of people who go through these contracts.”

Pandey, executive chairman and creative director of Ogilvy & Mather (India and South Asia), further said, “I hear that he has offered an apology to his fans but there is no threat to take the company to court to sue them or anything. So I don’t how serious he is about this. Only time can tell.”

Read | Name’s Bond, Jamshed Bond: Pierce Brosnan’s pan masala ad shakes, stirs Twitter

Brosnan had also said that he did not sign up to endorse the pan masala product of the company, but only agreed to endorse a mouth freshener that has no harmful ingredients such as tobacco. Pandey believes that the claim of such a lack of clarity is hard to believe.

“I think celebrities are fairly clear about what they want to do. And in my experience there is complete clarity. Also I have dealt with celebrities in categories that are known. And for a foreigner to get into a category which is completely unknown I think somebody must have checked. Or somebody didn’t check properly.”

When asked if there are big legal teams that vet all the fine print before celebrities endorse a product, Pandey said, “Of course there is. It is difficult for me to say right now (if he is trying to wriggle out of a tight situation). Because he said in the statement that I will be back with more…so let the more come. Right now it seems that there is some lack of clarity and there is an apology but there is no threat to take somebody to court.”

In April this year, a Parliamentary Standing Committee recommended new laws that could allow celebrities to be fined and jailed (Rs 50 lakh and five years) for misleading consumers. Pandey said he does not believe or support this idea.

On the issue of legal liability faced by celebrities endorsing products or services, Pandey said, “…a celebrity who does an endorsement for a car I won’t expect him to be a mechanic or a mechanical engineer or an auto expert.”

Also read | Pierce Brosnan in pan masala ad may not be just about ‘class’