CBFC chief Pahlaj Nihalani said content promoting paan masala, tobacco and alcohol cannot be allowed on electronic media.
Pierce Brosnan’s Pan Bahar ad has been banned from national and satellite television in the country. The Central Board of Film Certification issued the order citing laws that restrict content promoting paan masala, tobacco and alcohol from being showcased on electronic media. The ad was trolled on social media after it appeared on newspapers a week ago.
CBFC chief Pahlaj Nihalani told dna: “I haven’t seen the ad. But it is very difficult to believe Pierce Brosnan has done this. Money can hardly be a criteria when you’re selling death to people. However, he has chosen to do what he has done. But there is no way we can certify the ad. All paan masala, tobacco, alcohol ads are automatically and unconditionally banned.” He said ads featuring Bollywood actors such as Shah Rukh Khan and Saif Ali Khan for alcohol brands are illegal as well, even if they are selling non-alcoholic drinks.
After the ad got criticised on Twitter with people pointing out the health risk concerns involved with the product, Pan Bahar gave a statement toThe Indian Express and said, “As we support our country’s ‘Make in India’ campaign, we are proud to have Mr. Brosnan on board and would like to thank him for lending his image for the short film of Pan Bahar and taking the brand to next level while making it classier with his elegance and style.” The company said the uproar about the ad on social media was because of the lack of awareness about the product.
The company said, “The product is a a Pan Masala [Indian mouth freshener] which has Betelnut, Lime, Catechu, Cardamom seeds, Sandal wood oil, and Kewara in it and there is NO Tobacco No Nicotine content in this product.” They also said that there was no tobacco product under the brand name in question.