Supermarket Iceland recently released their own version of a Christmas advert which has since been banned from our TV screens due to being “too political”.
This year, instead of the normal festive cheer we’re all used to seeing grace our screens, Iceland has chosen to use this opportunity to share a message about deforestation.
The advert which is narrated by Emma Thompson and produced by Greenpeace depicts a young girl unsure as to why there is an orangutan in her bedroom. Only when asking the Orangutan why it’s there, does she understand the traumatic events the baby orangutan has been through.
The advert focuses on the impact Palm Oil is having on the rainforest and the animals that live within it. At the end of the advert, they comment saying “Dedicated to the 25 orangutans we lose every day”.
Iceland also commits to removing palm oil from their own label products until the sourcing of it causes zero rainforest destruction.
Clearcast, the body responsible for clearing ads on behalf of the four major UK commercial broadcasters, says it was “concerned” that the commercial “doesn’t comply” with legislation on political advertising.
Since being banned, Iceland took to social media sharing “You won’t see our Christmas advert on TV this year, but you can watch it on our Facebook or YouTube channel. Say hello to Rang-tan… #NoPalmOilChristmas”
Since landing on social media, the advert has been watched nearly 3 million times and a petition has since started to have the advert reinstated to television. With the petition requiring 1 million signatures, it’s already sitting at a healthy 583,808. Make sure you sign today.
What is Palm Oil?
Palm oil is literally everywhere – in our foods, cosmetics, cleaning products and fuels. In an attempt to source this, large multinational corporations are causing the displacement of indigenous people, deforestation and loss of biodiversity.
You can find palm oil in frozen pizzas, biscuits and margarine, as well as body creams, soaps, makeup, candles and detergents.
Few people realise that almost half of the palm oil imported into the EU is used as biofuel. Since 2009, the mandatory blending of biofuels into motor vehicle fuels has been a major cause of deforestation.
Oil palm plantations currently cover more than 27 million hectares of the Earth’s surface. Forests and human settlements have been destroyed and replaced by “green deserts” containing virtually no biodiversity on an area the size of New Zealand. How scary is that?!
Watch the video
Personally, I can see why Palm Oil has been used. It’s cheap to source and can be added to a wide variety of items, meaning the big corporate giants can bank a pretty penny.
However, when you consider the worldwide consequences this causes, the devastation to the rainforests, the destruction to the habitats of the animals and humans living there, is it really worth it? I think not.
Personally, Iceland has helped me see why the usage of palm oil needs to stop and I will absolutely sign their petition to get this advert back on the tv along with the avoidance of products that house this ingredient in future.
Thanks for reading.