Iceland's Christmas TV ad banned in UK

Lawrence Kim
November 9, 2018

This is touching on the supermarket's decision to no longer sell products with the controversial fruit by-product in hopes of reducing the demand.

Public calls to reduce palm oil in consumer products have mounted over the last several years, as rainforest destruction in areas like Malaysia lead to major threats to the survival of orangutans.

Earlier this year, Iceland became the first major United Kingdom supermarket to announce they are removing palm oil from all its own-brand products.

Palm oil is a highly controversial ingredient, with green groups accusing suppliers of the widely used commodity of fueling deforestation in South East Asia, leading to increased greenhouse gas emissions and habitat loss.

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.

Iceland's main Christmas advert has been banned from TV as it is judged to be too political.

One of the stipulations enshrined in the broadcast code for advertising practice (BCAP), is that an ad is prohibited if it is "directed towards a political end".

In a statement Clearcast suggested the advert does not clear this hurdle.

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

"Clearcast and the broadcasters have to date been unable to clear this Iceland ad because we concerned that it doesn't comply with the political rules of the BCAP code", said a Clearcast spokesperson. "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".

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

The orang-utan, named Rang-tan, noticably settles on a bottle of shampoo labelled with "contains palm oil" and howls.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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