Iceland's christmas advert has been BANNED from television

Iceland's Christmas TV ad banned for being too political

Clearcast, which pre-approves British TV advertising, said it was in breach of rules around political advertising as part of the 2003 Communications Act.

Earlier this year the chain announced that it would remove palm oil from all its products.

Discount supermarket chain Iceland is facing off with United Kingdom ads regulator Clearcast over a Christmas ad campaign which has been banned from TV for being too political.

Iceland thought it was going to have the most talked about Christmas ad of the season this year, as it planned to rebrand a Greenpeace campaign about palm oil as its own, then make everyone sad about little orangutans being displaced by deforestation triggered by the rapidly growing production of the oil.

According to the BCAP, commercial adverts prohibit "political advertising", including campaigning for the purposes of influencing legislation or executive action by local or national (including foreign) governments.

"Clearcast and the broadcasters have to date been unable to clear this because we are concerned that it doesn't comply with the political rules of the BCAP [the Broadcast Code for Advertising Practice]", a spokeswoman for Clearcast, the regulator responsible for vetting adverts before they are broadcast, said. It would have blown the John Lewis ad out of the window.

It added that Greenpeace had "not yet been able to demonstrate compliance in this area".

Iceland will still be placing TV ads, but only 10-second clips that will highlight palm oil-free products.

The orang-utan, named Rang-tan, noticably settles on a bottle of shampoo labelled with "contains palm oil" and howls.

"We think this is a huge story that needs to be told".

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".

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