Pierce Brosnan Turns Heads Selling Pan Bahar

God bless Pierce Brosnan for having made our day. But, before I get to that, a couple facts must be noted.

With today's anti-smoking crusade in the United States, you will never find a famous actor endorsing the addictive product in a pro-tobacco advertisement. It could mean career suicide. And, now that I think about it, when was the last pro-tobacco commercial we've seen in the US? If an actor is willing to put a cigarette in his mouth for a particular role, that alone could spell some drama. Playing big government, the MPAA will now stamp a minimum PG-13 rating on a film if there is any tobacco imagery. So, if a character needs to smoke, a studio risks getting the avoided R-rating. It's crazy. But onto point two...

One could have a field day watching notoriously bad or exploitative ads that major Hollywood players have been the face of. Yes, the same faces that seem to have high morals domestically will lower their standards for big paydays overseas. The catch is that the ads they take part in are for overseas audiences only and are expected to stay there. Of course these videos eventually make their way online, and they are a hilarity to watch. The HBO series Entourage even dedicated an episode to this very fact, with the resulting commercial.


Pierce Brosnan the New Face of Pan Bahar

Exploiting his days as James Bond, Pierce Brosnan plays a spy-like character in an extended commercial for Pan Bahar. To showcase their new marketing face, the brand took over the entire front page of The Times of India.

One can only hope that Brosnan knew the print takeover was part of the arrangement. Or at least he got paid a huge amount, as there is now no hiding from this. But what is Pan Bahar?

Typically called Paan, it is prepared by combining betel leaf and aerca nut. To add variations to the flavor, other ingredients such as clove, lime, cardamom or even tobacco itself are added. The mixture is then chewed for a "stimulating" effect. Besides giving the user a buzz, it also causes the saliva to turn red. So red that, when spat, it can be seen all over sidewalks. Due to the mess it makes, Paan has been banned in a number of countries and communities. But the substance is still popular in a number of countries including India.

Brosnan Promotes Addictive Substance

Even without the tobacco additive, Paan is considered very addictive and, just like tobacco, increases the user's odds of cancer. Obviously oral, but the lungs, pancreas, oesophagus and liver also see increased risk. So, Paan, like tobacco, is definitely er, not healthy.

Pierce Brosnan 007

And now 007 himself is selling it! First off, it makes sense to give Pierce Brosnan a hard time. But let's remember that people are liable for their own actions, not the face that made something notoriously unhealthy instantly more attractive. If you are dumb enough to be fooled by "James Bond" into trying something, then maybe Darwin was onto something.

Besides the offensive, I have to admit that Pierce Brosnan actually looks pretty damn good as an aged super spy. He looks tougher now than he did as James Bond twenty years ago. Maybe a non-Bond spy thriller is due for the actor?

Oh, and don't do drugs. Then again -- don't listen to me -- and make your own decisions.