Leo Burnett dropped in £5m Tetley tea review

Tetley has ended its 25-year relationship with Leo Burnett London in a review of its £5 million advertising account.

Leo Burnett, which merged with D'Arcy in 2002, was behind the 2002 relaunch of Tetley. The campaign dumped Tetley's iconic animated characters, the Tetley Teafolk and introduced the strapline: "Ready, Tetley, Go."

The company is understood to be seeking a small, independent agency and has yet to draw up a shortlist.

Tetley has struggled to position its brand in recent years. In 2001, it was presented as a healthy, fashionable drink to appeal to younger more affluent consumers. It was decided that the Teafolk - Gaffer, Sidney and Maurice - were too old-fashioned, northern and working class for the brand's planned new image.

It subsequently reviewed the account, in a pitch run by Agency Assessments.

The business was retained by D'Arcy after a shoot-out against the then HHCL & Partners, Partners BDDH and TBWA\London.

In 2002, D'Arcy's first new-look ad campaign ended in tatters after regulatory rulings from the Independent Television Commission and the Advertising Standards Authority upheld complaints made by the Food Commission that said claimed health benefits made by two poster ads were misleading.

One ad claimed that: "Tetley is rich in antioxidants that can help keep your heart healthy." A second ran: "Go on, live a lot", implying that drinking tea could prolong the drinker's life.

Tetley originally appointed D'Arcy to handle its advertising in 1979.

It was one of several accounts that was transferred to Leo Burnett when D'Arcy was closed by its parent company, Publicis Groupe, in 2002.

D'Arcy developed a string of campaigns around the Tetley Teafolk, one of Britain's best-known advertising icons, which were first introduced to front the brand in 1973.

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