Climate Action

Iceland’s palm oil advert banned for being too political

The advertising watchdog deemed the advert ‘too political’ to air.

  • 09 November 2018
  • Rachel Cooper

The advertising watchdog deemed the advert ‘too political’ to air.

Iceland’s new Christmas advert, which highlights the devastating effects of palm oil deforestation, has been banned by the watchdog from airing on TV.

The advert shows a child in despair after a small orangutan, ‘Rang-tan’, is running wild in her bedroom. When she asks the orangutan why he is there, he says “there’s a human in my forest.” The advert then turns to a grey scene with machinery striking down the forest.

The advert, created by Greenpeace and voiced by Emma Thompson, has received a flood of support online.

Palm oil is found in over 50 per cent of products found in UK supermarkets. Earlier this year, Iceland committed to removing palm oil from all of its own label food by the end of 2018 in response to continued deforestation in South East Asia.

This deforestation is having devastating effects on the orangutan population, every year it is estimated that 1,000 to 5,000 orangutans are killed in palm oil concessions.

Richard Walker, Managing Director at Iceland, said: “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.”

Watch the advert in full below:

Photograph: Iceland