Christmas commercial about orangutan banned in UK for being political

A supermarket’s Christmas commercial about an orangutan being forced out of its rainforest habitat due to deforestation has reportedly been banned in the United Kingdom for being political. 

CNN reported Friday that Clearcast, an organization that pre-approves the bulk of British television advertising before broadcast, said in a statement that the British supermarket, Iceland Foods Ltd., broke the U.K.’s ban on political advertising with its new commercial.


Clearcast took issue with the short animated film, called “Rang-tan,” which depicts an orangutan fleeing from deforestation caused by palm oil production. The film was originally produced by Greenpeace, with which Clearcast reportedly took issue. 

"The creative submitted to us is linked to another organization who have not yet been able to demonstrate compliance in this area," Clearcast wrote in a statement.

Iceland, in a statement, wrote that the advertisement aimed to "raise awareness" and "improve shoppers' understanding of the widespread rainforest destruction for palm oil production, which appears in more than 50% of all supermarket products." The store opted to publish the advertisement on YouTube.

The supermarket’s founder, Malcolm Walker, told The Guardian that Iceland got permission to use the advertisement and take off the Greenpeace logo for its Christmas campaign. 

“It would have blown the John LewisJohn LewisKatherine Clark quietly eyes leadership ascent Democratic lawmaker says officials tried to keep her from migrant girls during facility tour Democratic outrage grows over conditions at border detention centers MORE ad out of the window. It was so emotional,” Walker said.

Iceland became the first major supermarket in the U.K. to pledge to remove palm oil from its brand name foods earlier this year.