Frozen food retailer Iceland is broadcasting its 2018 Christmas advert online after being unable to secure advertising regulatory approval for ‘political’ reasons.

This year, Iceland’s Christmas advert will not appear on TV alongside those of other retailers.

The retailer had hoped to use a short film, Rang-tan, as its TV commercial.

Iceland described Rang-tan as an emotive animation telling the story of rainforest destruction caused by palm oil production, and its impact on the endangered orangutan.

The retailer hoped that the advert would improve shoppers’ understanding of the widespread rainforest destruction for palm oil production, which is said to appear in more than 50% of all supermarket products.

The advert would have seen Iceland committing over half a million pounds of media spend to ensure that it was seen by millions of consumers.

However, this advert was banned by advertising regulators, and has been uploaded to YouTube instead.

Richard Walker, managing director at Iceland said: “Throughout 2018 we have led the retail industry to take action in areas such as rainforest destruction for palm oil and plastic pollution of our oceans.

“This year we were keen to do something different with our much anticipated Christmas advert. The culmination of our palm oil project is offering our customers the choice of an orangutan friendly Christmas, and we wanted to reflect this in our advertising.

“Whilst our advert sadly never made it to TV screens, we are hopeful that consumers will take to social media to view the film, which raises awareness of an important global issue.

“Our commitment to help protect the home of orangutans remains extremely close to our hearts. We are proud to be encouraging consumers to make more sustainable choices, even without the support of TV advertising, ahead of the Christmas shopping season.”

Iceland is also offering consumers an ‘orangutan friendly Christmas’ range that has been crafted with recipes that are said to be reworked to ensure that the removal of palm oil has no effect on quality or taste.

Iceland’s short film is available to watch here.