Watch the Iceland Christmas TV advert banned for being 'too political'

Watch the Iceland Christmas TV advert banned for being 'too political'

ICELAND'S CHRISTMAS TV advertising campaign highlighting the damaging effect of the palm oil industry on the environment has been banned from broadcast.

The advert, which has been put together with the help of Greenpeace, is an animated short centring on a young girl and an orangutan.

Emma Thompson lends her voice to the ad, which highlights the destruction being done to the natural rainforest habitat of animals like orangutans in the pursuit of palm oil used in countless supermarket products.

Habitat loss has been cited as a major contributing factor to animals like orangutan's becoming classified as critically endangered.

Iceland became the first major UK supermarket to pledge to remove palm oil from all of its own-brand foods earlier this year.

The discount supermarket chain had hoped the campaign would shed further light on this growing issue while rivalling John Lewis as one of the most talked about ads of the festive season.

However, Clearcast, the non-governmental body which pre-approves most British television advertising, has banned the advert from TV after deeming it was in breach of political advertising rules.

The advert fell afoul of a stipulation in the broadcast code for advertising practice (BCAP), that prohibits ads "directed towards a political end".

"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," a statement read.

"The creative submitted to us is linked to another organisation who have not yet been able to demonstrate compliance in this area."

Richard Walker, Managing Director at Iceland 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.

"Our commitment to help protect the home of orangutans remains extremely close to our hearts.

"We are proud to be encouraging consumers to make more sustainable choices, even without the support of TV advertising, ahead of the Christmas shopping season."