Petition calling for Iceland’s ‘banned’ Christmas advert to be shown on TV launched

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A petition to get the banned Iceland Christmas advert shown on television has been launched and it has been signed by over half a million people. 

The supermarket chain released its advert online last week, after revealing that it would not be shown on screens this festive season. 

However after going viral, people are calling for the Rang-tan advert to be allowed on TV this Christmas. 

What is the advert about? 

The animated advert, which is voiced by actress Emma Thompson, is about a young girl who finds a Rang-tan in her bedroom. 

The orangutan then tells the girl about deforestation destroying its home, as humans chop down trees for palm oil. 

The advert would have been used as part of Iceland’s palm oil free Christmas. 

READ MORE: Watch Iceland’s powerful banned Christmas advert that you won’t see on TV

What does the petition say? 

A petition calling for the advert to be shown on TV has now been launched on Change.org and hass been signed by 685,516 people at the time this article was published 

Creator of the petition, Mark Topps wrote: ‘Iceland released a Christmas advert today highlighting the devastation caused by palm oil products.

‘It was a beautiful and important message. But the tv regulators have banned the advert, for being too political!

‘Palm oil is a product that can be found in everything from shampoos and detergents to sandwiches and biscuits..

‘It’s one of the most environmentally-damaging industries, and each day 25 orangutans are killed. It’s production wipes out rainforests and wildlife, driving animals like the orangutan into extinction.

‘As a father of three who thinks this ad would help educate people about how their products are killing orangutans and their homes, I feel banning this advert is an injustice.' 

READ MORE: 'Everybody needs to see this’: Readers call for Iceland's banned Rang-tan Christmas advert to be shown on TV

Why was it banned? 

Iceland claimed that the advert had been ‘banned’ for being ‘too political’, however Clearcast have now responded. 

Clearcast is a non-governmental organisation which pre-approves adverts before they are aired on televisions in the UK. 

Chris Mundy, the organisations managing director, said: ‘Last week Iceland announced that Clearcast had “banned” their Christmas ad which highlights the plight of Orangutans in their habitat as a result of deforestation to produce palm oil.

‘We understand what an important issue the ad raised and there has been a lot of resulting publicity, discussion on social media and a campaign to get the “ban” reversed.

‘Much of what has been said has been based on a misunderstanding of the issue and we’ve seen a number of conspiracy theories about why the ad was not cleared. The truth is that it is a matter of broadcasting law.

‘The Iceland ad submitted to Clearcast is a Greenpeace film which has been appearing on the Greenpeace website for a number of months. Greenpeace in its own social media coverage of the story have described the ad as a “Greenpeace film”.

‘The first important point to make is that Clearcast do not make the rules on advertising, they are made by a body called BCAP.

‘In the case of rules on political advertising, the rules reflect the Communications Act and are embedded in the licences of the broadcasters.

‘In the case of the Iceland ad, the specific rule Clearcast and the broadcasters have considered is:

‘An advertisement contravenes the prohibition on political advertising if it is:

‘An advertisement which is inserted by or on behalf of a body whose objects are wholly or mainly of a political nature.’