Watch the animated ad featuring an orangutan and small child deemed ‘too political’ for broadcast in the UK

An advertisment featuring an animated orangutan that highlights the destruction of rainforests by palm oil growers has been labelled “too political” for the UK.

Iceland, an upmarket supermarket, became the first major UK supermarket chain to remove palm oil from all of its own products earlier this year.

To promote its decision in time for Christmas, the company created an advert which uses animation from Greenpeace and includes the voice of British actress Emma Thompson.

It features an orangutan climbing around a young girl’s bedroom, with the child remarking about the mess the animal was making and wondering where it came from. The video then shows a forest, destroyed and burnt, with the child noting how – like her bedroom was invaded by the animal – its home had been taken over by humans.

The commercial ends by noting 25 orangutans are lost every day, and that until palm oil growers stop destroying rainforests, the oil wouldn’t be used in the supermarkets’ products.

The video has been deemed “too political” by the advertising clearance body Clearcast, which screens broadcast ads. The body said the animation broke rules banning political advertising under the UK Communications Act 2003.

“Clearcast and the broadcasters have, to date, been unable to clear this Iceland ad because we’re concerned that it doesn’t comply with the political rules of the BCAP code,” the watchdog said in a statement.

“The creative submitted to us is linked to another organisation who have not yet been able to demonstrate compliance in this area”.

The move has many social media users riled up, some of whom are sharing the video online to provide it with exposure.

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