The voluntary advertising regulator found there was insufficient evidence to back Tetley’s claim.
The ASA said the available evidence demonstrated Tetley’s green tea was no better than water.
The commercial featured a woman opting for a cup of green tea instead of going running, while a voiceover says: “For an easy way to help look after yourself, pick up Tetley Green Tea. It’s full of antioxidants.”
But the regulator did not concur with viewer complaints that the advert suggested green tea consumption could be as beneficial as taking exercise.
“While it did not imply the tea had the same or similar health benefits to exercise, it did imply that the tea had some general health benefits beyond hydration, in particular because it contained antioxidants,” the ASA said.
“As we had not seen any evidence to demonstrate that green tea, or the antioxidants in it, had general health benefits, we concluded that the ad was misleading.”
It added: “They [consumers] were likely to infer that it was, in some instances; like the one shown in the ad, preferable to going for a run because it was a way of achieving some health benefits, in particular because it contained antioxidants.”
In its defence, Tetley said the advert promoted green tea consumption as part of being healthy, “hence the inclusion of the on-screen text [saying ‘As part of a healthy diet and lifestyle’] and the depiction of a young, fit woman who clearly leads a healthy lifestyle.”