Pierce Brosnan demands image is removed from Indian ad after cancer link

Emily Sheridan
USC Norris Cancer Center Gala - Arrivals
USC Norris Cancer Center Gala - Arrivals

Actor Pierce Brosnan has demanded his image is removed from an Indian advertising campaign after the featured product was linked to cancer.

The former James Bond star, 63, appeared in TV commercials and newspaper front pages endorsing Pan Bahar breath freshener.

However, the product - otherwise known as pan masala - may contain ingredients which can cause mouth and throat cancers.

Cancer is an issue close to the actor's heart after he lost his first wife Cassandra Harris and their daughter Charlotte to the disease in 1991 and 2013 respectively.

In a statement to People magazine, Brosnan said he was "deeply shocked and saddened" to learn of the association with Pan Bahar and claimed the product was presented to him as "all-natural containing neither tobacco, supari, nor any other harmful ingredient".

Apologised profusely to his fans

He added: "As a man who has spent decades championing women's healthcare and environmental protection, I was distressed to learn of Pan Bahar's unauthorised and deceptive use of my image to endorse their range of pan masala products.

"I would never have entered into an agreement to promote a product in India that is dangerous to one's health."

Brosnan apologised profusely to his fans and Indian consumers, accusing Pan Bahar of having "grossly manipulated" his image and wrongly portraying him as a brand ambassador.

When contacted by the BBC, Ashok & Co. the company that produces Pan Bahar, was unavailable for comment. Its website is currently "under maintenance".