Iceland Christmas campaign banned for being "too political"

Roman Schwartz
November 12, 2018

Narrated by Dame Emma Thompson, "Rang-Tan" tells the story of a little girl wondering why this baby orangutan has moved into her room.

Iceland's ad was telling the story of rainforest destruction caused by palm oil production.

The advert, showing a machine going for an orangutan.

However, it noted it was "not a regulator and we do not ban ads", adding the video was a Greenpeace film that had appeared on Greenpeace's website for months.

Iceland became the first major United Kingdom supermarket to announce they are removing palm oil from all of their own-brand products.

Palm oil is a form of vegetable oil made from the fleshy fruit of oil palms and it has been used for thousands of years.

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Unlike other supermarkets, the frozen food chain has not gone down the cosy fireplace and turkeys route, instead opting to highlight the horrors of the palm oil industry and how deforestation in Indonesia is resulting in the deaths of 25 orangutangs every day.

Twitter users also had their say on Clearcast's decision to ban the emotional Christmas advert, Twitter often a place where people express their political or social views, on a quick and easy platform and Iceland's advert was no different. In particular, the hotly-anticipated choice of upmarket department store John Lewis. "We are proud to be encouraging consumers to make more sustainable choices, even without the support of TV advertising, ahead of the Christmas shopping season".

Iceland's emotional Christmas advertisement featuring a cartoon orang-utan has been banned from television for being "too political" - a vetting body says it can not clear the Greenpeace-made film which highlights the plight of the orang-utan because it breaches guidelines.

But the advertising watchdog has deemed that the film breaks rules banning political advertising laid down by the 2003 Communications Act. "Our commitment to help protect the home of orangutans remains extremely close to our hearts".

Discount supermarket chain Iceland is facing off with United Kingdom ads regulator Clearcast over a Christmas ad campaign which has been banned from TV for being too political.

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