Delhi-based Ashok and Company-Pan Bahar Ltd has said Hollywood star Pierce Brosnan knew about the product he was endorsing, days after the actor claimed he was “distressed” over the “unauthorised and deceptive use” of his image in the pan masala ad, according to the Times of India.
Brosnan, who played the legendary British spy James Bond, claimed last week he was deceived and that the contract details stated that he was to advertise a “breath freshener/tooth whitener”. The Irish actor demanded that the company remove his image from all their products as they violated the contract, according to an exclusive statement to People magazine.
“I would never have entered into an agreement to promote a product in India that is dangerous to one’s health,” Brosnan said in the statement to the American weekly from Time Inc.
Brosnan’s response on Thursday came amid public outrage over his endorsement of the pan masala. He was trolled again for saying that he was misled by the company into endorsing the product.
The TOI reported on Sunday the manufacturers of Pan Bahar also said that their product does not contain any nicotine or tobacco. It added that the company is yet to detail its strategy to deal with Brosnan’s demand to drop his images from their advertisement.
“It was clearly mentioned to him that it was pan masala/mouth freshener,” the report quoted an unnamed source “linked to the manufacturers of Pan Bahar” as saying.
A brand custodian told TOI on Friday that the company had not deviated from the contract when it produced and unveiled the advertisement. The contract has not been made public by the company, which has a turnover of Rs 230 crore.
“This is hereby certified that Pan Bahar and Pan Bahar Crystal Pan Masala manufactured by us does not contain tobacco and nicotine and there is no tobacco product made under this brand name,” a statement signed by Pawan Kumar Jain, a director of the company, said.
Pan Bahar is made from a mixture of nuts, seeds, herbs and spices, and is believed to cause cancer and other health problems.