ASA upholds decision to ban Tetley Green Tea ad

LONDON - The Advertising Standards Authority has upheld a decision banning a TV ad for Tetley Green Tea after complaints that it implied the tea had greater health benefits than it did.

Tetley sought an independent review following the ASA’s initial ruling on the ad in June, which saw it being taken off air in its current form.

Sir John Caines, the Independent Reviewer of ASA Adjudications, was asked to reassess the case.

He deemed the ASA was correct in its ruling to uphold the complaints but asked that it clarify the wording laying out its grounds for the decision.

Tetley argued that the ad, created by Miles Calcraft Briginshaw Duffy, intended to promote drinking Tetley Green Tea as part of a healthy lifestyle and not to replace the benefits of exercise.

The advertiser also believed the ad responsibly promoted the health benefits of drinking Tetley Green Tea, as hydrating and providing antioxidants, and noted that several health relationships had been suggested for tea.

It referenced studies which demonstrated ways in which black and green tea provided beneficial health properties.

The ASA noted the studies referred to specific medical conditions in relation to the benefits that green tea might have.

A number of the studies stated that further research was still required to confirm their findings.

It considered the evidence submitted was not adequate to demonstrate that green tea had some general health benefits for the average viewer. On this point it found the ad was likely to mislead.

The watchdog has instructed Tetley to abstain from making health claims in future advertising unless it is able to provide sufficient evidence to support the claim.