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Detox tea name banned for failing to meet regulations for health claims

Pukka Herbs said its Detox tea had been on sale in the UK since 2004.

Tea brand Pukka has been banned from naming one of its products “Detox” because the title does not meet EU regulations for health claims.

Pukka Herbs told the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) its Detox tea had been on sale widely across the UK since 2004 after two complainants challenged whether the title met regulations around nutrition and health claims for food.

The company said transitional measures allowed for brand names or trademarks that existed before 2005 but did not comply with the regulations to continue to be marketed until 2022, and therefore believed that the Detox tea name did not need to be accompanied by a relevant authorised health claim until that time.

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(ASA/PA)

Upholding the complaints, the ASA said the word “detox” was likely to be understood to relate to overall good health or health-related well-being, and as such considered it to be a general health claim.

However, it said that neither “Detox” nor “Pukka Detox” had been registered as a trademark before January 2005, and were therefore not covered by the exemption.

The ASA said: “Consequently, we considered the ad was not covered by the exemption under Article 28(2) of the regulation and as such “Detox” was required to be accompanied by a permitted health or nutrition claim.

“Because it was not, we concluded that the claim breached the Code.”

It ruled that the claim must not appear again in its current form, adding: “We told Pukka Herbs not to make references to general benefits of food for overall good health or health-related wellbeing in brand names unless those claims were accompanied by a permitted health or nutrition claim.”

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