Banned Iceland palm oil Christmas ad 'too political'

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Public calls to reduce palm oil in consumer products have mounted over the last several years, as rainforest destruction in areas like Malaysia lead to major threats to the survival of orangutans.

A fifth shared: "I don't shop at Iceland but it's very bad to think that this advert was banned simply because they aim to remove palm oil ingredients from their products".

The commercial, made with Greenpeace, features an animated orangutan and highlights the destruction of the rainforest by palm oil growers.

According to Clearcast, the United Kingdom body responsible for making sure ads meet standards set by the 2003 Communications Act, an adorably animated orangutan lamenting the effects of deforestation fits the bill. It would have blown the John Lewis ad out of the window.

Advertising body Clearcast said the organisation hadn't banned the short film but that it couldn't clear it to run on TV as it is breaches the rules of the Broadcast Code of Advertising Practice which stops companies from broadcasting political adverts.

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But Iceland's Christmas ad is getting more attention than any of them - specifically because it hasn't even been allowed on TV.

Christmas adverts are starting to pop up on TV as the festive season approaches but supermarket Iceland have been told their ad won't be televised. "We have said repeatedly we are not anti-palm oil, we are anti-deforestation".

Now, if they really wanted to pull a John Lewis (that's the United Kingdom retailer, not the American congressman and civil rights icon), we'll be seeing Iceland-branded plush Rang-Tan toys under the tree. "The culmination of our palm oil project is offering our customers the choice of an orangutan-friendly Christmas, and we wanted to reflect this in our advertising".

A spokesman added: "Mother, the creative agency which produced the video, submitted the Rang-tan script to Clearcast in July to test the system again and see if there was an option for us to advertise as part of our campaign alongside planned cinema screenings and social media". "Our commitment to help protect the home of orangutans remains extremely close to our hearts".

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