Commercial featuring cartoon orangutan banned for being political

Iceland's Christmas TV ad banned for being too political

Undated screengrab issued by Iceland of the Iceland Christmas advert which has been blocked by Clearcast, the body which approves or rejects adverts for broadcast, for being too political.

Clearcast said the advert "contravened the prohibition on political advertising", which included "an advertisement which is inserted by or on behalf of a body whose objects are wholly or mainly of a political nature" - referring to its origins as a Greenpeace advert.

"Until all palm oil causes zero rainforest destruction, we're removing palm oil from all our own label products".

As part of its festive campaign the discount supermarket struck a deal with Greenpeace to rebadge an animated short film featuring an orangutan and the destruction of its rainforest habitat at the hands of palm oil growers.

The voiceover is done by British actress Emma Thompson, and it was made in partnership with the charity Greenpeace. It would have blown the John Lewis ad out of the window.

Earlier this year the chain announced that it would remove palm oil from all its products.

"This year, we were keen to do something different with our much anticipated Christmas advert", said Richard Walker, an Iceland managing director.

The deforestation and harvesting of palm oil has since contributed to the orangutan now being classified as critically endangered.

Answering the distraught baby ape, the little girl says: "Oh Rang-tan in my bedroom now I do know what to do, I'll fight to save your home and I'll stop you feeling blue". It outlines the effects of palm oil production on orangutan habitats, with Iceland declaring it has removed all palm oil from its products. "Will you help us share the story?" "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".

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.

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