Can wanting to save our planet be too political?

Iceland’s call for help against palm oil production has ended in their Christmas ad being banned.

The supermarket chain Iceland has decided to address environmental issues in its latest Christmas ad. It had a short shelf life, however, as it was banned by Clearcast, the organisation that approves ads before they are broadcasted to the public for being ‘too political’.

The animated video, narrated by actress Emma Thompson, highlighted how endangered species are losing their natural habitats due to the production of palm oil. Rainforests are being torn down to plant more palms. The orangutan especially is affected as it’s been declared critically endangered and 25 die a day.

The significant move comes after Iceland became the first UK supermarket that has vowed to remove palm oil from its own-brand products in response to continued deforestation in South East Asia.

Clearcast said in its statement: “Clearcast and the broadcasters have to date been unable to clear an ad for Iceland because we are concerned that it doesn’t comply with the political rules of the BCAP code.“

Richard Walker, Managing Director at Iceland, commented the reasons behind the Christmas ad: “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.”

See also: Where are we in our fight against plastic pollution?

Featured image by Jorge Franganillo via Unsplash

Words: Boglarka Chamer | Subbing: Elise Fritts

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