A recent TV advertisement from Iceland Foods has caused quite an uproar after it was banned for being ‘too political’.
The commercial, voiced by actress Emma Thompson and originally produced by Greenpeace (a non-governmental environmental organization) features a cartoon orangutan and highlights the plight of the rainforest. In the advert, we see ‘Rang-Tan’ arrive in a young girl’s bedroom. When the girl questions how the animal got there, the commercial goes on to explore the threat to orangutan populations in their natural rainforest habitats. When the girl realises ‘Rang-Tan’ is endangered, she promises to share the message far and wide.
The Telegraph reports that Clearcast, the body which approves or rejects adverts on behalf of the four major UK commercial broadcasters, said it was “concerned” that the commercial “doesn’t comply” with legislation on political advertising.
“It added that Greenpeace had ‘not yet been able to demonstrate compliance in this area'”.
A Spokesperson for Greenpeace reportedly said it was rejected because of the name Greenpeace.
“Mother, the creative agency which produced the video, submitted the Rang-Tan script to Clearcast in July to test the system again and see if there was an option to advertise as part of our campaign alongside planned cinema screenings and social media.”
Greenpeace followed by setting up a petition in order to get “big brands to stop using palm oil from forest destroyers”.
They said: “Rang-tan’s forest home is being destroyed to clear the way for palm oil – an ingredient used to make products for brands like Unilever, Mondelez and Nestlé. If we don’t act, more precious habitats will be ruined, Indigenous Peoples could lose their homes, and Rang-tan and her species could be lost forever.”
According to Good House Keeping, Iceland Foods made a “bold move away from the usual commercial” by highlighting how the use of palm oil in consumer products has been linked to deforestation. It comes after Iceland committed to remove palm oil from all its own label food by the end of 2018.
For clarity it's not the ASA who have banned the ad. Clearcast, the body responsible for vetting adverts in the UK decided that Rang-tan could not be aired, hence the ban.
— Iceland Foods ❄️ (@IcelandFoods) November 9, 2018
Iceland Foods went on to share the commercial on social media, which clocked in over 3 million views on YouTube since its upload.
Along with the video, Iceland Foods said:
“You won’t see our Christmas advert on TV this year. But we want to share our ‘No Palm Oil’ story with you this Christmas. Say hello to Rang-tan.”
They also claim that over 50% of products found in UK supermarkets contain Palm Oil.
On Twitter, the advert clocked in 93 000 likes, with celebrities retweeting and supporting the Christmas commercial from Iceland Foods as well.
The Late Late Show host, James Corden thinks everyone should see it:
This commercial was banned from TV for being too political. I think everyone should see it x pic.twitter.com/ns2XnGSnv6
— James Corden (@JKCorden) November 11, 2018
Anya Garnis, a ballroom dancer based in New York City and 2007 finalist on the American reality television show So You Think You Can Dance, said its the best advert she’s ever seen:
“That’s what’s wrong with the world! The best advert I’ve seen in years!!! Brave, honest and what needs to be done!!! It shouldn’t be banned!!!”
Journalist, Coco Khan also said on Twitter that its a shame that the advert was banned.
“If people want tear jerking ads at Xmas than why not one with some real world impact? Glad to see deforestation back in headlines. Also all you late comers to Iceland, I’ve been shopping here since early, and I will fight you for the party platters.”
Actor, Steven Cree also said that its great that the advert is going viral even if it’s not on television:
“Thank goodness for charities like
@IAR_updates (Animal Rescue) trying to save Orangutans and raise awareness. Great that this advert is going viral if not on TV.”