There’s a rang-tan in my bedroom: The banned Iceland Foods festive ad that will move you deeply

(image (c) Iceland/Greenpeace)


I have been both an ardent conservationist, thanks to the holy trinity of Gerald Durrell, National Geographic and David Attenborough, and a Christmas fanatic since my childhood.

There was no reason to expect these two disparate passions would ever intersect but they have, thanks to the planned festive ad by British supermarket chain Iceland foods which, in partnership with Greenpeace and narrated by Emma Thompson, was aimed at highlighting how the world’s rapacious need, or rather want, for palm oil, is destroying the habitats of orangutans and countless other animals in the jungles of SE Asia.

It’s a brilliant idea – use the time of year when people are really focused on paying attention to get ideas for their Christmas gifts or festivities to really promote a vitally important message.



Wonderful inspired idea but according to Digital Spy, not one that Britain’s advertising regulatory authority, Clearcast, is all that keen on, saying “that the advert was in breach of a ban on political advertising as laid out in the Broadcast Code of Advertising Practice (BCAP).”

“‘Clearcast and the broadcasters have to date been unable to clear this Iceland ad because we concerned that it doesn’t comply with the political rules of the BCAP code,’ a spokeswoman for Clearcast said.”

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

Iceland Foods founder Malcolm Walker has responded to this determination, according to The Guardian, saying:

“This was a film that Greenpeace made with a voice over by Emma Thompson.

“We got permission to use it and take off the Greenpeace logo and use it as the Iceland Christmas ad. It would have blown the John Lewis ad out of the window. It was so emotional.”

It may be a commercial campaign, a follow-on from Iceland Foods pledge earlier this year to remove palm oil from own-brand products but it is saying something important and I can only hope that this festive season, the ad, released by the chain on its Twitter feed, will go viral and get the message out there.


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