Delhi officials ask ex-007 Brosnan to explain Indian ad

Former 007 star Pierce Brosnan has been asked to explain why he features in a commercial for an Indian mouth freshener linked to chewing tobacco. (Screenshot)
Updated 15 February 2018
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Delhi officials ask ex-007 Brosnan to explain Indian ad

NEW DELHI: Former 007 star Pierce Brosnan has been asked to explain why he features in a commercial for an Indian mouth freshener linked to chewing tobacco, Delhi authorities said Wednesday.
Health officials in the Indian capital said they had issued a show cause notice requiring Brosnan justify his starring in a James Bond-style ad dating back to 2016 for pan masala — a mixture of betel nut, spices and sometimes tobacco.
The adverts for Indian TV channels, newspapers and billboards showed a bearded Brosnan grappling with villains and flirting with beautiful women before revealing a can of pan masala, a twist that invited ridicule at the time.
But local authorities remain less than impressed, insisting the ads are still at large and warning the 64-year-old Irish actor he could be violating Indian laws against tobacco advertising.
“We saw Pierce Brosnan’s posters advertising Pan Bahar (a pan masala brand) at tobacco shops in Delhi in the last fortnight,” S.K Arora, a health department officer with the Delhi government, told AFP.
Arora said authorities had reached out to Brosnan through Pan Bahar, the pan masala company in question and “even directly on his Twitter account” — but had not heard back.
Brosnan could face a fine of 5000 rupees ($78) or up to two years in jail if he did not answer within 10 days, Arora added.
The makers of Pan Bahar insist their product does not contain nicotine, but many pan masala mixtures in India designed to freshen breath and aid digestion contain tobacco along with pastes, areca nut and spices.
Arora said chewing tobacco had been linked to cancer and millions of Indians chewed pan masala every day. The distinct mixture leaves lurid red stains on the mouth after being chewed or when it is spat out.


Banksy ‘snow’ pollution mural sold for over $130,000

Updated 18 January 2019
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Banksy ‘snow’ pollution mural sold for over $130,000

  • The ‘snow pollution’ mural appeared in the town of Swansea Bay, home to one of the biggest steelworks in the world
  • The buyer will lend the mural to Port Talbot in hopes it would attract international artists to the area

LONDON: A mural by elusive British street artist Banksy depicting a child enjoying falling snow that is in fact pollution from a burning bin has been sold for over $130,000 to a British art dealer.
From one side, the “Season’s Greetings” mural on a concrete block garage in Wales shows a small boy with his tongue out to catch snow that, when viewed from another side, turns out to be ash from an industrial bin.
“I bought it and it cost me a six-figure sum,” John Brandler of Brandler Galleries, told Reuters by telephone.
“I am lending it to Port Talbot for a minimum of two or three years. I want to use it as a center for an art hub that would bring in internationally famous artists to Port Talbot.”
The mural appeared last month in the town on the edge of Swansea Bay, home to one of the biggest steelworks in the world.
Brandler, 63, said the entire mural — on the corner of a garage — had to be moved in one piece. He declined to give a specific price for the piece.
When asked how he could afford such luxuries, he said: “I am an art dealer. I own several Banksies, I also own (John) Constable, (Thomas) Gainsborough, (Joseph Mallord William) Turner, I’ve got (urban artist) Pure Evil — I’ve got all sorts of art.”
“My hobby is my business. The last time I went to work was when I was 18,” Brandler said.
Banksy, who keeps his real name private, has become the most famous street artist in the world by poking fun at the excesses of modern capitalism and lampooning hollow icons, slogans and opinions.
Previous works include “Mobile Lovers” which shows an embrace between lovers who stare over each other’s shoulders at their mobile phones and an abrupt warning near Canary Wharf in London that reads “Sorry! The lifestyle you ordered is currently out of stock.”