Iceland's Christmas advert banned for being too political

Iceland Christmas

The ad's release comes after the discount supermarket announced earlier this year that it was no longer including palm oil in its own-brand products.

Iceland's went down the same avenue, with an animated short of an orang-utan centred around palm oil, and has now been branded "too political".

Clearcast, the body which approves or rejects adverts for broadcast on television and video on demand, said it was "concerned" that the commercial "doesn't comply" with legislation on political advertising.

Iceland's Christmas TV advert has been banned from United Kingdom television as it has been deemed too political.

"It was so emotional", Iceland's founder Malcolm Walker said as cited by The Independent. Habitat loss in countries such as Malaysia - a major global producer of palm oil - has contributed to the orangutan now being classified as critically endangered.

However, the broadcast code for advertising practice (BCAP) states that adverts with messaging "directed towards a political end" are prohibited. It would have blown the John Lewis ad out of the window.

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But some have criticised Iceland's decision to remove the ingredient entirely, arguing the decision damages cross-industry efforts to secure a certified deforestation-free supply chain for palm oil.

"The creative submitted to us is linked to another organization who have not yet been able to demonstrate compliance in this area", Clearcast wrote in a statement.

But Iceland said the advert - which would have been backed by more than £500,000 of media spend - would have raised awareness among Christmas shoppers of the impact palm oil production is having on the world's rainforests.

"We think this is a huge story that needs to be told".

"This year we were keen to do something different with our much anticipated Christmas advert", said Richard Walker, managing director at Iceland. "We always knew there was a risk [the clip would not be cleared for TV] but we gave it our best shot".

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