Iceland's Christmas campaign has been banned from TV because it has been deemed to breach political advertising rules.

Greenpeace to rebadge an animated short film featuring an orangutan and the destruction of its rainforest habit at the hands of palm oil growers.

Earlier this year, Iceland became the first major UK supermarket to remove palm oil from all its own-brand foods. Habitat loss in countries such as Malaysia – a major global producer of palm oil – has contributed to the orangutan now being classified as critically endangered.

Banning political advertising laid down by the 2003 Communications Act.

"This was a movie that made Greenpeace with a voice over by Emma Thompson," said Iceland's founder, Malcolm Walker. "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. "

One of the stipulations enshrined in the Broadcasting Code for Advertising Practice (BCAP) is that it is "directed towards a political end".

"Clearcast and the broadcasters did not comply with the political rules of the BCAP code," said a spokeswoman for Clearcast. "The creative submitted to us is linked to another organization."

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Iceland wants to be the only one who likes to place TV ads, but only 10-second clips that will highlight palm oil-free products.

"We wanted [the Greenpeace film] to be our signature campaign, "said Richard Walker, Malcolm's son, who has switched to environmental campaigning. "We have said we are not anti-palm oil, we are anti-deforestation.

"We think this is a huge story that needs to be told. We always knew there was a risk [the clip would not be cleared for TV] but we gave it our best shot. "


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