Iceland's new Christmas advert has hit the headlines this week after being considered too political for television. The one minute, 33-second animation highlights the issue of deforestation in the rainforest and its effect on the Orangutan population, using #NoPalmOilChristmas to promote the key issue.

However, according to Clearcast, who the BBC writes "Assesses adverts against the UK Code of Broadcast Advertising," Iceland's advert broke the rule when it came to political advertising. According to the Guardian, the animated advert breached the 2003 Communications Act, with the advertisement's connection to Greenpeace a contributing factor.


Social media did not agree with Clearcast's decision, however, and after Iceland released the video on its own social media on Thursday, it has been shared over 200,000 times.

What is Palm Oil and where is it found?

Although Iceland has pledged to remove Palm Oil from all their own brand products until deforestation reaches zero, no information has been given on how or when they plan to do this. The removal of Palm Oil may be hard to achieve as it is in almost all products such as; shampoo, soap, pizza, make-up, chocolate, ice cream and bread, to name just a few.

But there are some ways you can help, prevent such excessive deforestation by finding products that use sustainable Palm Oil. The simplest way to do this is to look for an 'RSPO' (Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil) or 'Green Palm' label on products that you purchase. These ensure that the Palm Oil used in the product was produced in a responsible way and supports Palm Oil farmers.

Despite Iceland's Christmas advert being banned from our televisions, the Guardian wrote that "Iceland will still be placing TV ads, but only 10-second clips that will highlight palm oil-free products," a small compensation from the result of Clearcast's decision.

Social media shares

The animation features a cute Orangutan named "Rang-tan" who enters the bedroom of a young girl and tries to get rid of the products in her room that contain Palm Oil.

Angry the girl kicks "Rang-tan" out of her room, but not before she asks him why he is there, the advert takes a sad turn as we learn that the Orangutan's home and been destroyed and his mother killed in the pursuit of Palm Oil.

The animated duo pulled at the heartstrings of viewers, and alongside its 200,000 social media shares the Christmas advert has received more than one million views on Iceland's YouTube channel.

The animation almost makes it sadder, as viewers quickly connect to the characters, before seeing a photograph of a real Orangutan next to the message "Dedicated to the 25 Orangutan's we lose every day."

Twitter users also had their say on Clearcast's decision to ban the emotional Christmas advert, Twitter often a place where people express their political or social views, on a quick and easy platform and Iceland's advert was no different.