Over 600000 People Petition to Air 'Banned' Palm Oil Orangutan TV Ad

Anti-palm oil ad deemed 'too political' goes viral after ban in the UK

Supermarket ad banned for being too 'political' becomes an online hit

The Rang-tan animation was indeed originally created by Greenpeace and released earlier this year in August alongside a petition to challenge large global corporations like Nestlé and Unilever to stop using palm oil in their products.

United Kingdom supermarket Iceland, which has a partnership with Greenpeace, was given permission to place its logo on the commercial and run it as part of the store's Christmas campaign. Though the campaign was a cartoon, habitat loss due to palm oil production is a very real issue that has largely contributed to the orangutan being classified as critically endangered.

The Iceland supermarket group worked with Greenpeace to re-edit its animation short film and to broadcast it as a TV commercial, after it earlier this year made a decision to remove all palm oil from its own supermarket-branded foods.

Clearcast, the organisation that oversees which advertisements are appropriate for British television, deemed the campaign unsuitable, saying it violated political advertising rules stipulated in the 2003 Communications Act.

The rather confusingly named United Kingdom supermarket chain has been prevented from airing the advert on TV, "because the body responsible for clearing ads on behalf of the four major broadcasters, Clearcast, would not approve the ad for broadcast".

Palm oil, which is naturally high in saturated vegetable fats, is reddish in colour but is often refined to a whiteish semi-solid oil.

It can be found in half of all supermarket products, including processed food, toiletries and cosmetics. Picture: PA Why is palm oil bad for the environment?

Forests are usually burned to clear areas where people can grow oil palms - and sometimes this happens illegally.

It's down to a huge surge in demand for the product because of its apparent health benefits and lower production costs.

Around 100,000 orangutans were lost between 1999 and 2015.

Palm oil comes from the fruits of trees known as African oil palms.

Often people are not even aware they are consuming palm oil because it is labelled in various ways on ingredient lists.

Son of Iceland's founder Richard Walker told UK's The Guardian the company was "not anti-palm oil", however, it was against deforestation.

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