Former James Bond star Pierce Brosnan is endorsing an Indian brand 'Pan Bahar' that some people associate with a highly addictive and dangerous form of chewing tobacco.
The ad, which debuted on Friday in newspapers, billboards and television channels across India, drew lot of criticism from the fans on Twitter.
Bond fans in India are shaken by the advertisement featuring Pierce Brosnan. On social media, people are sharing the ads picture with hilarious and satirical jokes.
The ad's punch line, "Class never goes out of style", drew flak in India as tobacco chewing is not considered very classy in the country. People spit the juice after chewing these products in public places for which government has also launched a campaign asking people not to spit in public places.
Both pan masala and gutka have often been described as the main reason linked to serious illness like mouth cancer, which is chewed by millions of people across Indian subcontinent.
Meanwhile, government had run a series of campaigns in order to discourage people from buying them after rising cases of oral cancer among youths across the country. Many Indian states have passed law banning the sale of tobacco products but still these products are sold openly in public places.
An estimated 65 million Indians use "gutka", a heady form of chewing tobacco which is popular among young and old is made of crushed betel nut, nicotine and laced with chemicals and furious manufacturers are fighting cases in courts to remove the ban.
According to a World Health Organisation (WHO) report, Asia's third-largest economy battles almost 80,000 new cases of oral cancer every year. The treatment of tobacco-related diseases cost more than $5 billion in 2002-2003.The Indian government earns about $1.4 billion excise revenue from such companies.