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SUPERMARKET chain Iceland has had its Christmas advert banned from TV for being “too political” in highlighting the devastation of rainforests and orangutans as a result of palm oil production.
The animated ad originally produced by Greenpeace features a friendship between a girl and a baby orangutan called Rang-tan.
Rang-tan tells the girl about her home in the rainforest while the advert shows a digger ripping up trees.
“There’s a human in my forest and I don’t know what to do,” Rang-tan says. “He took away my mother and I’m scared he’ll take me too.”
The advert ends with the caption: “Dedicated to the 25 orangutans we lose every day.”
It comes as Iceland goes about removing palm oil from all of its own-label food by the end of the year.
The company said that more than 50 per cent of products in supermarkets use palm oil, and demand for it has led to millions of acres of rainforests in south-east Asia being destroyed to make way for palm oil plantations.
Clearcast, the watchdog for adverts on Britain’s main commercial channels, said it was concerned that Iceland’s commercial “doesn’t comply with the political rules.”
It added that Greenpeace had “not yet been able to demonstrate compliance in this area.”
The regulations do not apply online, where the video has been shared at least 60,000 times.
Iceland managing director Richard Walker 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.”
Greenpeace said the commercial was not originally intended for TV, but neither they or Clearcast were able to immediately confirm whether it had been previously submitted for broadcast clearance.
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