UK Bans Environmental Commercial For Being Political, Becomes Viral Hit

An environmental commercial in the UK has been banned for being a little too political.

The world of politics is always finding a way to slip into a variety of different forms of communication, commercials are no exception to this rule. However, depending on the content, those political ads could get banned by a country.  This was the case in the United Kingdom when a company called Iceland Foods, a major supermarket in the region, released a television commercial about how they're not allowing palm oil in their products anymore due to the negative environmental effects.

According to Mashable, Clearcast is a source that removes ads on behalf of four UK broadcasters. They're also the company that removed the controversial advertisement. The ad, which was originally made by Greenpeace and had a voiceover by Emma Thompson, apparently violated a United Kingdom political advertising rule within the broadcasting code. The rules state that ads can't be "inserted by or on behalf" of a group that's mainly political.

Now, the ad itself is rather political once the viewer sees the orangutang's point of view, the humans which are indirectly referenced as countries, companies and the people who buy palm oil products are hurting the animals' homes. Then there's the outright mention that until palm oil doesn't cause rainforests damage, it won't be found in the companies products.



There's now been a petition started on Change.org to reinstate the ad and it's got more than a few signatures, with the tally sitting at around 600,000. However, given the nature of governments and their laws, it's unlikely that this ad will be allowed to ever air since it does in fact, violate the rules, which can't be bent for any reason.

Despite that, the ad does make a lot of sense and the demand for palm oil does cause more than its fair share of damage to the environment. It is a major cause of deforestation as plantations are massive, and in many cases, miles of rainforest are removed to make space.

This removal of this ad will be a hot-button issue, but with the power of social media, its message has reached farther than the creators could have imagined.


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