Iceland’s Christmas advert has been banned from TV for being too political.
As the popularity of Christmas adverts has risen over the past few years, a competition appears to have developed between supermarkets and retailers, with everyone aiming for the most heartfelt and memorable snippet of screen-time between shows.
With bears, carrots and singing boxes all making an appearance, it’s not unusual for a Christmas advert to feature something other than a human to capture our attention, and this year Iceland opted for an orangutan to tell their story.
Take a look at the advert here:
The 90-second feature, titled Rang-Tan, featured an animated orangutan causing havoc in a little girl’s bedroom until she orders her to leave. Before she does, she explains to the girl how a digger was ripping up trees in her forest.
The orangutan says:
There’s a human in my forest and I don’t know what to do. He destroyed all of our forest for your food and your shampoo.
There’s a human in my forest and I don’t know what to do. He took away my mother and I’m scared he’ll take me too.
There’s a human in my forest and I don’t know what to do. They’re burning it for palm oil so I thought I’d stay with you.
The frozen-food supermarket created the advert to campaign against the use of palm oil in the production of food and cosmetics, which in turn is driving rainforest destruction.
The advert ends with the words:
Dedicated to the 25 orangutans we lose every day.
Earlier this year, Iceland committed to remove palm oil from all its own label food by the end of 2018 in response to continued deforestation in South East Asia.
The company are now reaching the completion of their project, which will offer consumers the option of having of an orangutan friendly Christmas.
Iceland hoped to use the advert to improve shoppers’ understanding of the widespread rainforest destruction for palm oil production, which appears in more than 50 per cent of all supermarket products.
However, the feature has been banned by advertising regulators on the grounds it was seen to support a political issue.
In response to the ban, Richard Walker, Managing Director at Iceland, said:
Throughout 2018 we have led the retail industry to take action in areas such as rainforest destruction for palm oil and plastic pollution of our oceans.
This year we were keen to do something different with our much anticipated Christmas advert.
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.
Whilst our advert sadly never made it to TV screens, we are hopeful that consumers will take to social media to view the film, which raises awareness of an important global issue.
Our commitment to help protect the home of orangutans remains extremely close to our hearts.
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.
Iceland have released the video online to make sure their message is still seen by many consumers, even if it’s not on television.
The advert raises important environmental issues which are important to keep in mind when shopping.
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Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.