- Ad-regulators refused to clear a Christmas commercial for Iceland, a British supermarket, that showed humans terrorizing orangutans for palm oil.
- Clearance body Clearcast banned the ad for Iceland because it was “political,” and broke the UK’s 2003 Communications Act.
- It shows sinister machines tearing down trees and scaring critically endangered orangutans.
- Iceland won’t sell palm oil products after 2018, and made the advert with Greenpeace to highlight the environmental impact.
- Iceland will release the advert on social media, where the regulator has no jurisdiction.
A British supermarket chain said on Friday their Christmas advert has been banned for being too political because it shows palm oil manufacturers terrorizing orangutans.
Iceland’s animated advert, called “Rang-tan,” stars a small girl talking to a baby orangutan in her bedroom. She tells the orangutan: “They destroy all of your trees for your food and shampoo.”
The orangutan says a human “took away my mother and I’m scared he’ll take me too.”
Here’s the Christmas advert, which will be released on social media instead of the UK’s four major TV channels:
Clearcast – a non-governmental organisation that decides which adverts are allowed on the UK’s four major TV networks – said the advert breached the 2003 Communications Act which “prohibits political advertising” in-line with the Broadcast Code of Advertising Practice (BCAP.)
The voiceover is done by British actress Emma Thompson, and it was made in partnership with the charity Greenpeace.
Clearcast said in a press release on Friday: “We are concerned that it doesn’t comply with the political rules of the BCAP code. The creative submitted to us is linked to another organisation who have not yet been able to demonstrate compliance in this area.”
An Iceland press release, entitled “The Christmas advert that never made it to TV,” said on Friday: “Advertising regulators banned advert on grounds of it being seen to support a political issue.”
“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.”