Published: Sat, November 10, 2018
Entertaiment | By Paul Elliott

Iceland Christmas ad banned over 'political message'

Iceland Christmas ad banned over 'political message'

Earlier this year, Iceland revealed that they were the first major United Kingdom supermarket to remove palm oil from all its own-brand products.

The popular supermarket chain failed to win over regulators with their short film Rang-tan, which tells the story of rainforest destruction caused by palm production.

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.

She is confused as to why he is there and when she asks him discovers it's because humans are in his rainforest harvesting palm oil and he has nowhere to live because of deforestation.

Iceland will still be placing TV ads, but only 10-second clips that will highlight palm oil-free products.

According to the BCAP, commercial adverts prohibit "political advertising", including campaigning for the purposes of influencing legislation or executive action by local or national (including foreign) governments.

However the now-banned advert, which was voiced by actor Emma Thompson, was deemed to be in breach of political impartiality rules set out in the 2003 Communications Act which prohibits advertisements that are "directed towards a political end." .

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

It was scrapped by the body responsible for giving ads the green light - who said there were concerns that it "doesn't comply with political rules". It outlines the effects of palm oil production on orangutan habitats, with Iceland declaring it has removed all palm oil from its products.

"You won't see our Christmas advert on TV this year. 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".

Richard Walker, managing director for Iceland Food group said: "We wanted [the Greenpeace film] to be our signature campaign".

He added: "Our commitment to help protect the home of orangutans remains extremely close to our hearts". "The creative submitted to us is linked to another organisation who have not yet been able to demonstrate compliance in this area".

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