After Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan announced on Monday (today) that he has terminated his contract with a pan masala brand “Kamala Pasand”, the focus has shifted back to Tollywood superstar Mahesh Babu who continues to promote tobacco brand “Pan Bahar” along with Bollywood top star Tiger Shroff.
Amitabh clearly stated that he terminated his contract to promote “Kamala Pasand” as it comes under ‘surrogate advertising’.
Similarly, Mahesh Babu’s “Pan Bahar Mouth Freshener” also comes under the surrogate advertising category.
Mahesh Babu resorting to surrogate advertising for the sake of earning few bucks has earned a lot of wrath from not just his fans but also crores of people who took a dig at Mahesh Babu on various social media platforms.
Despite all this, Mahesh Babu continues to promote the tobacco brand even today in utter disregard towards the health of people and his fans.
Not just Amitabh, even Hollywood superstar Pierce Brosnan who earlier promoted “Pan Bahar mouth freshner” prior to Mahesh Babu also terminated his contract after he realised that it comes under ‘surrogate advertising’.
When this advertisement created a furor that Brosnan was promoting tobacco, Brosnan was shocked saying that he was unaware that the company was promoting tobacco brand with his ad and he acted after he was told that it was a mouth freshner. Brosnan had expressed severe anger at the company for promoting tobacco (pan masala) with his advertisement, sued the company for cheating him, and distanced himself from the ad.
Amitabh terminated his contract following the request made by a national anti-tobacco organisation to withdraw himself from the campaign, which promoted pan masala, saying that it would stop the youth from getting addicted to tobacco.
Everyone is aware that Pan Bahar brand is commonly associated with pan masala and Gutkha, a potent mixture of tobacco, crushed betel nut, lime, and clove among other ingredients. It is chewed (and subsequently spat out in bright red streams) by millions of people, who become addicted and face risk of cancer and other health issues.
Advertising alcohol and tobacco brands, which was banned in India as per the Cable Television Network (Regulation) Amendment Act, came into effect on September 8, 2000. However, private TV channels often permit alcohol and tobacco companies to advertise using the proxy route through celebrities. It is common to see a famous sportsperson or movie star endorsing soda water, music compact discs and mouth fresheners that are brand extensions for companies that market alcohol, pan masala or tobacco by the same brand names. This is called surrogate advertising, since under section 5 of the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act, all kinds of advertising of tobacco products, direct and indirect, are prohibited.