Iceland's Christmas TV advert banned from telly for being too political

Iceland’s Christmas advert has been banned from TV screens after being deemed too political to broadcast.

The supermarket chain had planned to use a Greenpeace short film – narrated by Emma Thompson – depicting an orangutan and the destruction of its forest habitat for palm oil for its festive broadcast.

However, Clearcast – the body which vets ads before they are broadcast to viewers – said that the advert was in breach of a ban on political advertising as laid out in the Broadcast Code of Advertising Practice (BCAP).

“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,” a spokeswoman for Clearcast said (via The Guardian).

“The creative submitted to us is linked to another organisation who have not yet been able to demonstrate compliance in this area.”

However, Iceland have responded to the ban, its founder Malcolm Walker saying: “This was a film that Greenpeace made with a voice over by Emma Thompson.

“We got permission to use it and take off the Greenpeace logo and use it as the Iceland Christmas ad. It would have blown the John Lewis ad out of the window. It was so emotional.”

Walker’s son Richard added: “We wanted [the Greenpeace film] to be our signature campaign. We have said repeatedly we are not anti-palm oil, we are anti-deforestation.

“We think this is a huge story that needs to be told. We always knew there was a risk [the clip would not be cleared for TV] but we gave it our best shot.”

Short 10-second clips from the advert will still be shown on TV, however, which will highlight palm oil-free products.

Iceland became the first major supermarket in the UK to pledge a removal of palm oil from its own-brand products earlier this year.

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