Christmas TV ads: The heat is on Iceland

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Iceland’s Banned TV Christmas Advert Greenpeace/Iceland

Or is it? Is the heat actually on Greenpeace? There’s been a right stramash in the media over this heartstring-stretcher featuring a li’l Rang-tan and a teary voiceover by Emma Thompson. You’ll have seen it by now, right? It’s pretty good if you like your proselytising with warm flavours of marshmallow.

Bit surprised by the tone of the reporting though. All the stories are along the lines of Iceland’s Christmas advert banned for being too political.

But it’s not Iceland’s advert! And it’s not even a Christmas advert. Come on, even the head Iceman, Malcom Walker, is candid: “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.”

The MMR podcast: carving up the Christmas TV ads

That’s right! It is a Greenpeace ad, from August, and it’s got 262,000 views on GP’s YouTube channel. But on Iceland’s channel it’s been watched well over 3m times.

You’ve got to go with Malcolm – you can’t buy exposure like this. Credit to Iceland, they are saying they’ve removed palm oil from all their own-brand products, and I hope it doesn’t spoil their £1 pizzas (seriously – they’re great). They’ve also left the bit at the end giving the facts about the evil oil, although not Greenpeace’s invitation to sign a petition (yeah, right).

In a twist, Son of Iceman, Richard Walker, says the freezing friends of the rainforest aren’t actually anti-palm oil, just anti-deforestation. Which just muddies the mangrove water.

But none of that matters. Point is, the people from Clearcast, the body that clears ads for broadcast (whatever happened to the Advertising Standards Authority – too boring?) aren’t having it, saying it doesn’t comply. With whatever. Fair enough. It complies with getting a load of publicity though. John Lewis – out the window.

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