Under-fire Tea Council places Nexus on alert

The UK Tea Council is putting its account out to pitch for the first time in three years.

The move comes weeks after the body was criticised for its attempts to stress the health benefits of tea.

The account, thought to be worth between £200,000 and £250,000, is currently held by Nexus Communications. Prior to Nexus, Lexis PR held the account for three years.

A shortlist has been drawn up that is believed to include the incumbent alongside three other agencies. Tea Council executive chairman Bill Gorman said he planned to select an agency by the end of the year.

The Tea Council is the ­independent, not-for-profit body that represents tea-producing and exporting countries as well as UK tea packing and distribution companies.

For the past few years, it has been positioning tea as a healthy option, promoting its benefits with he ongoing ‘Tea 4 Health’ campaign.

But in late September, the Advertising Standards Aut-hority (ASA) criticised a Tea Council poster, which recommended drinking four cups of tea a day, plus five portions of fruit and vegetables, as part of a healthy diet.

The ASA claimed that the poster was misleading, as consumers could believe the recommendation was linked to the Government’s health drive.

The ASA also said there was no evidence to ‘firmly substantiate’ the claims that tea was rich in beneficial antioxidants also found in fruit and vegetables.

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