Indian officials are warning Irish actor Pierce Brosnan that he could face jail time over an advertisement that ran in the country.


The actor, 64, appeared in an ad for Pan Bahar, a company that sells mouth-freshening products, some of which contain tobacco. In India, advertising tobacco products is illegal. Officials in the country have reached out to Brosnan with a warning that he must provide an explanation for his actions, or face legal consequences.

Brosnan, best known for portraying James Bond in the 1990s and early 2000s, appeared in the ad about a year and a half ago, and claimed that his inclusion in the ad was “unauthorized.” In addition, the specific product that Brosnan’s image was used to promote did not contain tobacco, but others sold by the company did.

Members of the health department in Delhi say they’ve given Brosnan 10 days to explain his part in the advertisement, otherwise he could face two years of jail time and a small fine of about $78. “We have issued the notice to Pierce Brosnan through the company, and also reached out to him via social media platforms,” officials told Indian Express.

In Oct. 2016, Brosnan addressed his image in the ad, saying that he’d only signed on to promote one product by Pan Bahar, and he was assured that product did not contain tobacco. He also notes that he has lost his first wife, daughter and multiple friends to cancer, and is against tobacco himself.

“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,” Brosnon said statement at the time, according to People. “I would never have entered into an agreement to promote a product in India that is dangerous to one’s health.”

Meanwhile, Pan Bahar is refuting the actor’s claim that the company lied to him to use his image to promote multiple products. It also claims that the brand should not be associated with tobacco but with mouth-fresheners.