Supermarket ad banned for being too political becomes an online hit

In April, Iceland became the first major UK supermarket to ban palm oil from its own products, in light of the severe environmental damage caused by increased global demand for the substance.

The issue has been raised in a TV commercial for the supermarket, but the ad has been banned from television in the UK for being too "political" — and people are not happy about it.

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Clearcast, a body responsible for clearing ads on behalf of the four major UK commercial broadcasters, said the ad was in breach of political advertising rules in the country's broadcasting code.

The rules prohibit advertising that is "inserted by or on behalf" of a group that is of a "wholly or mainly of a political nature."

Greenpeace originally created the ad, which features a voiceover by Saving Mr. Banks' Emma Thompson, and it had run on the environmental campaigning organisation's website for months.

"This was a film that Greenpeace made with a voice over by Emma Thompson," Iceland’s founder, Malcolm Walker, told The Guardian. "We got permission to use it and take off the Greenpeace logo and use it as the Iceland Christmas ad. It would have blown the John Lewis ad out of the window. It was so emotional.”

Since news broke of the ad's ban, people have stepped up to try and get it aired. A petition on has more than 600,000 signatures at the time of writing, while the likes of James Corden and Bill Bailey have pledged their support on social media.

It's certainly publicity you can't buy.

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