Tetley in Hot Water over Green Tea Claim

June 2/London/Daily Mail -- An advert for Tetley tea has been banned because it misled viewers into thinking that a cuppa has health benefits.

The TV commercial shows a young woman who decides not to go jogging and instead drinks a cup of green tea.

A voiceover says, "For an easy way to help look after yourself, pick up Tetley Green Tea. It's full of antioxidants."

The advertising watchdog ruled that this implied the tea was beneficial to health, when in fact there is no evidence to suggest it is better for you than water.

Four viewers complained that the advert suggested Tetley Green Tea had the same or similar health benefits as exercise.

In the commercial, the woman is seen warming up for exercise. She opens her front door, as if to go for a jog, but sees it is raining and goes back inside.

She is then seen making a cup of tea as the voiceover is heard and the words "As part of a healthy diet and lifestyle" appear on screen. The Advertising Standards Authority said the commercial breached codes dealing with evidence and accuracy.

A spokesman said, "While it did not imply the tea had the same or similar health benefits to exercise, it did imply that the tea had some general health benefits beyond hydration, in particular because it contained antioxidants.

"As we had not seen any evidence to demonstrate that green tea, or the antioxidants in it, had general health benefits, we concluded that the ad was misleading.

"The ad must not be broadcast again in its current form. We told Tetley not to imply that a product had greater health benefits than it did if they did not hold substantiation for the implied claims."

Tetley said the advert had promoted tea as part of a healthy lifestyle, "hence the inclusion of the on-screen text and the depiction of a young, fit woman who clearly led a healthy lifestyle."  

From the June 8, 2009, Prepared Foods E-dition