Iceland’s new Christmas advert has been BANNED from appearing on television. The supermarket chain’s new advert has failed to secure approval from regulators, banned on the grounds that it is supporting a political issue. Retailers have been building up anticipation for their big-budget Xmas adverts over the past few weeks, and now consumers will have to catch Iceland’s on YouTube instead.
Following a year of leading the retail industry in sustainability initiatives, Iceland had elected to do something different with its advertising spend. Earlier this year, Iceland committed to remove palm oil from all its own label food by the end of 2018 in response to continued deforestation in South East Asia, which is leading to the deaths of 25 orangutang monkeys every single day.
The retailer had hoped to use a short film, Rang-tan, as its main Christmas advert, but it’s been refused permission by regulators at the last minute. It was hoped that the advert would improve shoppers’ understanding of the widespread rainforest destruction for palm oil production, which appears in more than 50% of all supermarket products. The advert would have seen Iceland committing over half a million pounds to ensure that it was seen by millions of consumers – a bold move away from the usual commercial, product-led advertising in order to highlight an important issue causing climate change and biodiversity loss.
Richard Walker, Managing Director at Iceland said: “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.”
UPDATE: Nearly a Million Signatures!