9 votes

Iceland (UK grocery chain) to let loose animatronic orangutan after Christmas ad ban

11 comments

  1. [5]
    Neverland
    Link
    The U.K. advertising watchdog called this grocery chain’s anti-palm oil advert “too political.” Here is a related story for context:...

    The U.K. advertising watchdog called this grocery chain’s anti-palm oil advert “too political.” Here is a related story for context: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/nov/09/iceland-christmas-ad-palm-oil-banned

    The ban on the advert is the truly political statement in my book.

    3 votes
    1. [2]
      mat
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      That's not strictly accurate. The ad wasn't banned, it was ruled illegal and as such no broadcaster in the country would touch it. The regulator, Clearcast, give no fucks about content, just...

      That's not strictly accurate. The ad wasn't banned, it was ruled illegal and as such no broadcaster in the country would touch it. The regulator, Clearcast, give no fucks about content, just legality.

      The reason it is illegal is that it's a Greenpeace ad running under Iceland's name. Greenpeace are a political organisation, and it's against the law to run political ads under names other than the organisation promoting whatever they're promoting. This is a very good law, because without it political organisations (and not just ones I sort of agree with like Greenpeace) could advertise by stealth and we really really don't want that.

      So, while I might agree with the message in this particular case, it's absolutely right it shouldn't be aired as is. That's a door we do not want opening, because otherwise we'd be getting stealth political adverts everywhere.

      Also whoever is Iceland's agency right now did this entirely deliberately. They were banking on the free PR of getting "banned", and given the state of my Facebook feed earlier this week, it worked like a charm.

      fwiw, I believe if the ad had closed with both Greenpeace and Iceland logos on the end card it would have been perfectly legal and as such nobody would have seen it and Iceland wouldn't have made a tonne of money. Because that's all this is really about, lining Sir Malcom Walker's pockets. He doesn't give one gold plated fuck about palm oil or orang-utans. He's a Tory donor for goodness sakes.

      edit: here's Clearcast's updated statement on the issue

      7 votes
      1. Catt
        Link Parent
        Thanks for the clarification. I was wondering why a "political" ad was banned.

        Thanks for the clarification. I was wondering why a "political" ad was banned.

        2 votes
    2. [2]
      Greg
      Link Parent
      As a direct result of the ban, Iceland has managed to get unbelievable coverage for both their brand and the message, all while saving hugely on the TV slots and looking like the underdog....

      As a direct result of the ban, Iceland has managed to get unbelievable coverage for both their brand and the message, all while saving hugely on the TV slots and looking like the underdog.

      Political or otherwise, getting it 'banned' (i.e. viewed by 4M+ people YouTube instead) is either the luckiest coincidence that could have happened to them, or a genius piece of PR.

      6 votes
      1. Neverland
        (edited )
        Link Parent
        I agree about the net effect. I think that Hanlon’s Razor applies here, as of course does Streisand Effect. Edit: However, maybe Hanlon does not apply because under “follow the money”... here is a...

        I agree about the net effect. I think that Hanlon’s Razor applies here, as of course does Streisand Effect.

        Edit: However, maybe Hanlon does not apply because under “follow the money”... here is a theory about the fact that if the U.K. took a stand against palm oil, they may lose Malaysian defense contracts: https://www.express.co.uk/news/politics/917243/brussels-palm-oil-ban-british-defence-contracts-france-kuala-lampur

        Edit2: it may be more than a theory, and while this theory does agree with my general world view, I’m not sure that The Sun is a reliable underlying source: http://www.malaysiandefence.com/uk-financing-deal-typhoons/

        1 vote
  2. DonQuixote
    Link
    It's very interesting to see a retail company go on record for an environmental issue. The article says they wanted to highlight a palm-oil free line of products. Will we see more companies making...

    It's very interesting to see a retail company go on record for an environmental issue. The article says they wanted to highlight a palm-oil free line of products. Will we see more companies making statements like this? We shall see.

    2 votes
  3. [2]
    Silbern
    Link
    This is one of the most confusing headlines I've read in a long time, lol. Hope it works out well for them, glad to see a company take responsibility for once, that's a tragically rare occurrence...

    This is one of the most confusing headlines I've read in a long time, lol. Hope it works out well for them, glad to see a company take responsibility for once, that's a tragically rare occurrence...

    1 vote
    1. Neverland
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      Haha, totally. To start with, I had no idea that “Iceland” was not only a country, but also a grocery chain until I did some basic research. The first few headlines I read about their...

      Haha, totally. To start with, I had no idea that “Iceland” was not only a country, but also a grocery chain until I did some basic research. The first few headlines I read about their advertisement just said “Iceland.” At first I thought that the tiny country was taking a major stand against palm oil, and I didn’t quite get why that was news. That’s why I modified the title to help non-U.K. citizens understand the context. And now we have orangutans and Christmas involved.. this is a ridiculous headline.

      1 vote
  4. [3]
    DonQuixote
    Link
    I didn't know about the Greenpeace involvement. The version online is definitely a statement, but even knowing what to look for I didn't see Greenpeace's stamp anywhere. One article says Emma...

    I didn't know about the Greenpeace involvement. The version online is definitely a statement, but even knowing what to look for I didn't see Greenpeace's stamp anywhere. One article says Emma Thompson who narrated the ad is part of Greenpeace. Had someone else narrated, would they still have ruled it a political organization's ad?

    1 vote
    1. [2]
      DanBC
      Link Parent
      That's the problem. If Greenpeace want to run the ad they can. If Iceland make the ad they can run it. What can't happen is for Greenpeace to make the ad and then get Iceland to run it under the...

      even knowing what to look for I didn't see Greenpeace's stamp anywhere

      That's the problem. If Greenpeace want to run the ad they can. If Iceland make the ad they can run it. What can't happen is for Greenpeace to make the ad and then get Iceland to run it under the Iceland name without disclosure.

      1 vote