Iceland is known for its range of frozen foods – including Gregg’s steak bakes, which are a true delight – but the supermarket has been making headlines for reasons entirely unrelated to food.
It turns out that Iceland’s Christmas advert won’t be airing on television this year because it’s “too political”. Bet you didn’t expect that.
The supermarket has failed to win over regulators with their short film Rang-tan, which tells the story of rainforest deforestation caused by palm production.
In a time when Christmas adverts are fiercely competitive with multi-million pound budgets, Iceland’s offering won’t be aired alongside the likes of Aldi’s savage Kevin the Carrot and Pascal the Parsnip and Asda’s yuletide clip.
It also means that less people will be aware of the shocking deforestation in South East Asia, which devastates the habitat of orangutans.
In the cartoon, a young girl and is accompanied by an adorable orangutan who becomes distressed when he finds a hair product bottle containing palm oil. He’s haunted by flashbacks to diggers tearing through forests and destroying his homeland.
The advert closes with a simple message:
25 orangutans die every day. Until all palm oil causes zero rainforest destruction, we’re removing palm oil from all our own label products.
The advert, which will now be shown on social media instead, reportedly cost upwards of £500,000
Iceland’s managing director Richard Walker said:
Throughout 2018 we have led the retail industry to take action in areas such as rainforest destruction for palm oil and plastic pollution of our oceans.
This year we were keen to do something different with our much anticipated Christmas advert. The culmination of our palm oil project is offering our customers the choice of an orangutan friendly Christmas, and we wanted to reflect this in our advertising
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.