Iceland Christmas ad banned over 'political message'

Iceland's Christmas TV ad banned for being too political

Iceland has had to pull its eagerly-anticipated Christmas advert from the nation's TV screens for breaching political advertising rules.

"We were told it was deemed too political, so we're absolutely gutted because we wanted to share this message far and wide and underline Iceland's commitment to remove palm oil from all of our products by the end of this year".

The advert, which was originally developed by campaign group Greenpeace, depicts a baby orangutan causing havoc in a girl's bedroom, before the animal explains that it has been forced out of its rainforest home by humans developing the land for palm oil plantations.

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".

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.

It added that Greenpeace had "not yet been able to demonstrate compliance in this area".


"This was a film that Greenpeace made with a voice over by Emma Thompson", said Iceland's founder, Malcolm Walker.

They released a statement about their decision, saying: "Clearcast and the broadcasters have to date been unable to clear an ad for Iceland because we are concerned that it doesn't comply with the political rules of the BCAP code".

Iceland said it had spent around £500,000 on the campaign, booking "primetime" TV slots through its media agency 7stars.

Iceland has opted instead to show 10-second clips to highlight its palm-oil free products though the widespread media coverage and banning may prove to be a pre-emptive strike on the Christmas market and a savvy piece of marketing strategy, especially given the seemingly prepared plan-B and the lightning-fast emergence of the '#NoPalmOilChristmas' hashtag. "We have said repeatedly we are not anti-palm oil, we are anti-deforestation".

"You won't see our Christmas advert on TV this year, because it was banned".

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