Major UK supermarket launches TV ad with Greenpeace against the use of palm oil, but Clearcast bans it from airing

A popular UK grocery store – Iceland – became the first major supermarket to take palm oil out of all of its own products. The production of palm oil, which is used in everything from cooking oil to snacks and baked goods to cosmetics and shampoos, is contributing to mass deforestation in countries like Malaysia, and is responsible in part for the loss of 25 orangutans per day. The organutans are now classified as critically endangered.

But Iceland took their environmental stance a step further and teamed up with Greenpeace to rebadge this Christmas ad in order to bring awareness to the issue. But, unfortunately, the ad was banned because Clearcast says “it doesn’t comply with the political rules of the BCAP code.”

According to The Guardian:

Clearcast, the body responsible for vetting ads before they are broadcast to the public, said it was in breach of rules banning political advertising laid down by the 2003 Communications Act.

One of the stipulations enshrined in the broadcast code for advertising practice (BCAP), is that an ad is prohibited if it is “directed towards a political end”.

“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,” said a spokeswoman for Clearcast. “The creative submitted to us is linked to another organisation who have not yet been able to demonstrate compliance in this area.”

But an Iceland’s spokesperson disagrees. “We wanted [the ad] to be our signature campaign…We have said repeatedly 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, but we gave it our best shot.”

Via The Guardian