Could PG Tips Advert Cause Confusion?

Whilst flicking through a supermarket magazine the other day an advert for PG Tips’ Fruit, Herbal and Green Tea range triggered my “spot the odd one out” instinct. This is an instinct that has been finely honed by years of analysing data looking for discrepancies.

In the advert these teas seem to be presented as healthy alternatives to your usual cuppa … and there’s nothing actually wrong with any of them per se.  It was the association of the 3 teas together in this ad that disturbed me.

The words that caught my attention were “caffeine-free”.  It’s true that peppermint tea naturally contains no caffeine.  In fact I drink a couple of cups of it each evening exactly for that reason and because I want to be relaxed before bed.  For those who are not fond of peppermint tea, I’m sure PG Tips’ Juicy Red Berries tea is a refreshing alternative.

The odd one out here is green tea.  Someone looking at this advert might think it falls in the same bracket as the other two, but I certainly would not recommend it as a bedtime drink.

On the plus side, green tea is a drink that seems to have some health benefits, although an NHS article suggests the evidence for some health claims is weak or even “highly contradictory”.  My concern is that someone looking for a nice healthy evening drink might not realise how much caffeine it contains … particularly with the words “caffeine-free” appearing twice in the adjacent columns of the advert.  An article comparing a variety of teas and coffees suggests that a cup of green tea may contain 50% (or more) of the amount caffeine that an espresso does.

I’m not trying to put anyone off drinking green tea, just suggesting it may not be the perfect goodnight drink.