British supermarket chain Iceland is receiving much praise for its 2018 Christmas campaign, despite the advertisement being banned from television as it was deemed to be in breach of political advertising rules.
Through the power of social media the ad has already had in excess of three million views, since the supermarket giant tweeted the link on Friday.
Non-government environmental organization Greenpeace originally created the short animated film, which tells the story of Rang-tan, an orangutan who has fled home due to the destruction of the rainforest by palm oil growers.
Iceland who became the first major supermarket in the UK to cut palm oil from all its own-brand products earlier this year, got permission from Greenpeace to use the short film and remove the Greenpeace logo for the purposes of the Iceland Christmas campaign.
The body responsible for vetting ads in the UK, Clearcast, said the advertisement was in breach of rules banning political advertising laid down by the 2003 Communications Act.
In a statement released on Friday, Clearcast said: “The Iceland ad submitted to us is a Greenpeace film which has been appearing on the Greenpeace website for a number of months.
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.”
Many consumers have come out in support of the advert, saying that more people need to be aware of damage to the environment. Michela Beltrami tweeted that it was a “powerful, education and change inspiring message”.
— Michela Beltrami (@hawkladyk) November 11, 2018
Over the weekend, Rang-tan even had its own Twitter page created to thank supporters.
— Rang-tan 🍃✨ (@rangtanforest) November 11, 2018