A UK advertisement broadcasting the effects of palm oil on the environment has been deemed too political and banned from television screens across Britain.
The animated advert, originally created for Greenpeace with branding from supermarket Iceland, was meant to run as part of the store’s Christmas campaign, but was put to a halt by advertising watchdogs.
According to the ABC, Clearcast, the body responsible for approving advertising material for television networks across Britain, claimed the advert didn’t follow the rules set out in the UK Code of Broadcast Advertising and was labelled too political due to its link with environmental campaigner group Greenpeace.
However, that hasn’t stopped Iceland from sharing its message of awareness, with the supermarket launching a social media campaign and publishing the whole advertisement online for the world to see.
The creative advert outlines the problems associated with the use of palm oil and Iceland’s decision to remove the ingredient from all of its own brand of products.
This is a major move by the company as palm oil has quickly become one of the most widely used vegetable oils in the world. The ingredient is commonly found in baked goods, such as biscuits, bread and potato chips, as well as cosmetics and toiletries including soaps, shampoos and detergents.
However, palm oil production has resulted in the death of thousands of orangutans as forests across Indonesia and Malaysia are destroyed to make way for palm oil plantations.
The advertisement shares this message through a creative animation of a young girl and an orangutan with the animal explaining why it has made its way inside her bedroom.
“There is a human in my forest and I don’t know what to do, he destroys all of our trees for your food and shampoo,” the orangutan says. “There’s a human in my forest and I don’t know what to do, he took away my mother and I’m scared he’ll take me too.
“There are humans in my forest and I don’t know what to do. They’re burning it for palm oil so I thought I’d stay with you.”
The powerful advertisement ends by stating 25 orangutans die each day because of the destruction of forests. This ties in with The Orangutan Project’s claims that over 6,000 of the animals are killed every year.
Frustrated social media users expressed their outrage that the advert couldn’t be broadcast on television screens with many praising the company for sharing the message of awareness.
“This is such a powerful advert! I don’t understand why they won’t put it on TV? They show abused animal campaigns from RSPCA and Oxfam,” one person commented.
“How come you can advertise palm oil as environmental and friendly but you can’t advertise the truth? Great advert Iceland carry, carry on and don’t give up if you believe in doing the right thing,” another wrote.
While a third added: “Worlds gone mad, how could you ban this beautifully animated short film with a very important message as being “too political” utter tripe. Get it back on the TV screens asap.”