Monday, October 17, 2016

James Bond Actor Pierce Brosnan Stars in Ad for Indian Pan Masala

James Bond Actor Pierce Brosnan Stars in Ad for Indian Pan Masala
Written by: Newley Purnell
Blog by: Craig M. Banner
Pierce Brosnan’s recent advertisement campaign for a popular tobacco company product has caused a great deal of controversy among social media and health-related advocates across India.  Pan Bahar is an Indian company that produces a chewing tobacco product named Pan Masala.  While the product is used by millions across the country, the World Health Organization classifies the product as carcinogenic and injurious to public health.  Despite this assessment, the increased use of general tobacco products across the country are what make India the world capital for mouth cancer and why a substantial amount of jaws, throats, and tongues are removed every year.   The primary reason for the ensuing backlash is the company allowing the product to be marketed to the public in the first place; that is, despite Pan Bahar’s success, there has been considerable public support in recent years against marketing for products within this industry.  The secondary reason involves the company allowing foreigners to participate in marketing popular Indian products that they do not personally use. 

While it remains to be seen how marketing this product will affect its overall image and sales revenue, it is clear that the company did not anticipate the backlash that ensued.  This cultural error could be filed as a linguistic limitation, or as an issue that results in ineffective messaging and restricts the organization’s intended message in support of its target market.  The target market’s reaction, which potentially includes its customers as well as the general public, can negatively affect this product through perceived violations of allowing foreigners to market a product that a large swath of the public believes shouldn’t be promoted in the first place.  Multiple companies have suffered fatal setbacks as a result of improperly marketing their products.  As a result, marketers for Pan Bahar should take note of the issues that relate to linguistic limitations when considering further marketing techniques and procedures. 

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