A herbal tea manufacturer is courting controversy with a commercial
which appears to show a man preparing for a drug fix.
The film begins with the man striking a match and clamping a small spoon
between his teeth, but ends with him clasping a freshly brewed mug of
The East India Company claims to have adopted the approach in the
commercial - for Dr Stuart’s Fruit and Herb Tea - ’to highlight the
totally natural ingredients of the product’.
Barrett Cernis Delves & Partners has produced the film, which is due to
run in selected cinemas across Britain throughout the spring and,
possibly, on videos of appropriate movies as they are released later in
The teamaker said this week that it had deliberately confronted
drug-taking as a way of appealing to the youth market and persuading
more young people to drink tea.
Tim Meadows-Smith, the managing director of the East India Company,
said: ’The incidence of recreational drug-taking by the young is greater
than people imagine. Their use and abuse should concern us all. But it’s
equally frightening the amount of artificial substances we ingest as
part of our daily diet without actually realising it.’
Justin Cernis, the agency’s managing partner, denied that the campaign’s
intention was to court controversy for the sake of it.
The commercial was produced by the agency’s creative partners, Ray
Barrett and Andy Imrie, and directed by Lance Kneeshaw for Eclipse