Published: Sat, November 10, 2018
Culture&Arts | By Dora Pope

Iceland Christmas ad on orangutan plight banned for political rule breach

Iceland Christmas ad on orangutan plight banned for political rule breach

It's on YouTube so we can all still see it though, just imagine the last seven seconds of it is a cut to some pre-cooked roast potatoes being served up by a textbook TV mum, then whatever Iceland's current slogan is comes up, written in a Christmassy font.

Iceland's main Christmas advert has been banned from TV as it is judged to be too political.

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.

Earlier this year, Iceland became the first major United Kingdom supermarket to pledge to remove palm oil from all its own-brand foods.

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.

It follows the company's pledge to remove palm oil from its shelves and was meant to "improve shoppers' understanding" of the issue, with palm oil appearing in more than half of all supermarket products. "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".

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It was hoped that the advert would improve shoppers' understanding of the widespread rainforest destruction for palm oil production, which appears in more than 50% of all supermarket products.

Iceland founder Malcolm Walker said of the ad: "We got permission to use it and take off the Greenpeace logo and use it as the Iceland Christmas ad".

It may not comply with television rules but has been viewed and shared on social media thousands of times over.

"The creative submitted to us is linked to another organisation who have not yet been able demonstrate complicate in this area".

But Clearcast, the body responsible for vetting ads before they are broadcast, has said it has been unable to clear it because it breached the political rules set out in the broadcast code for advertising practice (BCAP).

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