By Coco Shellim
Iceland’s Christmas advert has been banned due to political reasons.
The ad shows an orang-utan playing around in a girl’s bedroom. It turns out that the orang-utan is in her bedroom because there are humans in his forest burning it for palm oil. It ends with Iceland’s message which dedicates the advert to the 25 orang-utans which are killed each day and that they are removing palm oil from all their own label products.
The fact that the ad was banned now means that most major UK news sites have written an article about it, and not only written about it, but written about it in a unanimously positive light. There is a petition to get the ad on television which over half a million people have signed so far. One article spoke about the ban saying its ‘like they’re accusing dogs trust of trying to manipulate us into being kinder to dogs.’
So why was it banned?
Because it was raising a political issue. But why is it political and what does that mean? It’s a fact that we use palm oil in hundreds of everyday products and that we are destroying forests to get it.
What makes this all so political is that the act of banning an important global message from many people. People, who buy products containing palm oil, with little or no knowledge of the devastating effects on the rainforests it causes. It almost sounds like Clearcast (the advert vetting organisation) is saying that companies can’t go around shouting about the positive environmental impact they are making. Stopping companies from shouting about it only lowers their motivation.
Its pretty much guaranteed that when something is banned, it becomes more alluring. You want to watch it now, even if you wouldn’t have bothered before it was banned. It’s in our nature to be curious, and when someone tells us not to open a box, all we think about is what is in that box.
I am trying to work out if it was a good or a bad thing it was banned. It has gained plenty of attention in the news and on social media, but I can’t help but think that there are many people who may have seen it on the telly who now, won’t see it all.
It’s such a hugely important issue and it was told in a different way. When I first started watching it I forgot completely it was for Iceland, and didn’t expect it to take the sobering turn to palm oil. You watch these animated images showing this sights of what we do to nature and its bleak and you feel ashamed to be human, all the while with your palm oil- riddled shampoo sitting on your bathroom shelf. But, at the end you see a bit of hope, coming from Iceland’s pledge and forward thinking.
So well done Iceland – you’ve won the 2018 Christmas ad and much more.