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Iceland's Anti-Palm Oil Advert Banned From TV For Being 'Too Political'

Iceland's Anti-Palm Oil Advert Banned From TV For Being 'Too Political'

The controversial advert comes as Iceland vows to remove palm oil from all of its products by next year.

Emma Rosemurgey

Emma Rosemurgey

Iceland's Christmas advert has been 'banned' from TV this year for being deemed 'too political'.

But, today the supermarket has decided to release the £500,000 advert on social media and you can watch it here...

While advertising body Clearcast hasn't strictly 'banned' the ad, the organisation said it couldn't give it the greenlight to appear on television as it's 'too political' and therefore breaks the rules of the Broadcast Code of Advertising Practice.

As a result, the advert will only be available to watch online and on social media.

The illustrated ad, which is narrated by Emma Thompson, begins with a baby orangutan called Rang-Tan, who is making a huge mess in a little girl's bedroom.

What first appears to be a cute festive advert soon turns dark when Rang-Tan reveals he's only there because of humans destroying his home in the rainforest.

The advert quickly turns to black and white as it depicts distressing scenes of the ape and his mum running away from trucks as they harvest the forests on Borneo and Sumatra. Towards the end of the advert, it looks as though the mother ape is going to be killed.


While some parents might be glad their young ones won't see the advert on television, the message is to highlight Iceland's commitment to removing palm oil from all of its products, including its Christmas range.

More than 50,000 orangutans have died as a result of multinational companies harvesting palm oil and destroying their natural habitat.

Palm oil is a cheap ingredient used in so many of the things we consume every day, from chocolate to soap, to margarine and ice-cream. It is thought to be contained in more than 50 per cent of supermarket items.


Now, Iceland has become the first supermarket to pledge none of its products will contain palm oil by the end of 2018, starting with its Christmas range.


Richard Walker, Managing Director at Iceland said: "Throughout 2018 we have led the retail industry to take action in areas such as rainforest destruction for palm oil and plastic pollution of our oceans. This year we were keen to do something different with our much anticipated Christmas advert. 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.

"Whilst our advert sadly never made it to TV screens, we are hopeful that consumers will take to social media to view the film, which raises awareness of an important global issue. Our commitment to help protect the home of orangutans remains extremely close to our hearts. 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."

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.

It can be difficult to spot which products include palm oil, as it can be listed as vegetable oil, vegetable fat, palm kernel oil, palm fruit oil, palmate, palmitate, glyceryl, stearate and much more.

The emotional advert ends with the young girl vowing to help save the rainforests that are being destroyed by palm oil foresting as she promises to tell everyone of the orangutans' plight.

Featured Image Credit: Iceland

Topics: Christmas, News, Iceland