The Delhi government's Health Department has issued a show cause notice to Hollywood actor Pierce Brosnan for appearing in a surrogate advertisement of an Indian pan masala brand.
The Cigarette and Other Tobacco Product Act, 2003 bans all kind of direct and indirect advertisements of tobacco products.
Additional Director (Health) SK Arora said they have come to know that promotion of a tobacco and pan masala brand was being done through media platforms and points of sale, shops and other vendors throughout India.
"It may be noted that Mr Pierce Brosnan who is promoting the brand in media, TV channel, vendors and others if any have also become party to this violation and are likely to be punished as per COTPA 2003," read the notice.
(An image of Pierce Brosnan in a pan masala advertisement)
Areca nut (supari) in pan masala has a cancer-causing agent which has been scientifically proven and Brosnan, an actor who is a role model for lakhs of people especially youngsters, should not indulge in the promotion of such hazardous products, it read.
(A still from an advertisement in the campaign)
The Irish actor has been asked to clarify his position within 10 days.
The 63-year-old star had earlier said his contract stated that he was to advertise a "breath freshener/tooth whitener" and that he was shocked and saddened by the deceptive use of his image in the pan masala brand's advertisement.
The city government also asked the pan masala group why appropriate punitive action be not initiated against its directors and office-bearers.
(With PTI inputs)