Sex and the City's Samantha swaps martinis for Tetley

LONDON - In a move that will have the Tetley Tea Folk up in arms, Kim Cattrall, the actress who played man-eating Samantha in 'Sex and the City', is to appear in a new £3m advertising campaign for the brand.

The campaign has been created by Miles Calcraft Briginshaw Duffy to promote Tetley's new range of herbal and fruit teas. According to reports in the Daily Mirror, Cattrall is seen in the ad visiting her auntie for some advice on her love life, revealing that she is looking for a man.

Auntie believes that the answer is tea, offering Cattrall camomile to help her sleep, commenting "Mind you, you don't waste much time sleeping, do you love?".

Cattrall then grabs a large tube from the selection of teas on the table and starts stroking it, quipping "I must say this Earl Grey is very impressive".

The ads are due to break next month as Tetley looks to expand beyond its traditional market, making it the first mainstream brand other than Twinings to break into the speciality tea market.

Tetley's new tea range includes variants such as Camomile Smile, Summer Merry Berry and Sweet Cranberry, and is now available in supermarkets.

The company hopes to tap into the growing trend for specialty teas, worth an estimated £73m a year, compared with the traditional tea market, which is worth £500m. Cattrall has been chosen for her appeal to women.

Prior to MCBD's appointment to the work in June, the account was with Leo Burnett, which picked up the account after it merged with D'Arcy. D'Arcy had handled the brand since 1979, including the period when it dumped its iconic advertising characters, the Tetley Tea Folk, in 2001.

Since dropping the Tetley Tea Folk, the brand has become the market leader in value and volume, according to ACNielsen Scantrack, with a 27% volume share of the UK teabag market compared with PG Tips' 22.5%.

If you have an opinion on this or any other issue raised on Brand Republic, join the debate in the Forum here.