What's all this about then?

As you've no doubt heard, Iceland's Christmas advert has been 'banned' because it falls foul of the advertising code.

Why on earth has it been banned?

The film Rang-Tan was made by Greenpeace in August as a way to highlight the damage being done to the rainforests by palm oil production. Iceland wanted to use the film as their Christmas ad to highlight their pledge to take palm oil out of their products.

But the fact that it was a Greenpeace film originally means it falls foul of the rules on political advertising.

Political ads aren't allowed in the UK unless they're from political parties and clearly labelled as such.

ClearCast, the regulator, says 'an advertisement contravenes the prohibition on political advertising if it is an advertisement which is inserted by or on behalf of a body whose objects are wholly or mainly of a political nature.'

That covers bodies who want to bringing about changes of the law, influence government policy or officials, influence public opinion 'on a matter which, in the United Kingdom, is a matter of public controversy' or promote 'the interests of a party organised for political ends.' That includes Greenpeace.

However, the regulator has also specifically said 'Clearcast’s concerns do not extend to the content or message of the ad.'

So why don't they just let it run?

As anyone who's following the row about dark ads and Brexit will know, the rules on allowing political bodies to secretly run ads to influence opinion is there for a reason.

But people take issue with is the idea Greenpeace's work is 'of a political nature'. And if Iceland want to use the film in their ad slots, shouldn't they be allowed?

Does this mean Iceland won't have a Christmas ad?

No, it doesn't. The company will still be on TV in the run-up to Christmas with more traditional advertising, which will launch later in the month.

So do Iceland actually care about palm oil or is it just a PR stunt?

Yes, they do. They've pledged that 'by the end of 2018, 100% of our own brand food will contain no palm oil.' They are the first UK supermarket to commit to removing palm oil from all own brand food.

There are questions, as there always are, about whether what they replace it with will be free from environmental flaws - butter and soy, produced at scale, have their own issues.

They've also pledged to completely remove plastic packaging from their own label range by 2023.

Should I be outraged?

Yes - about what the production of palm oil is doing to the rainforest. Less so about the censorship. If Iceland had made the advert themselves, it would almost certainly have been cleared.

So what I can I do?

Write to your favourite supermarkets and brands and ask them to commit to using only sustainable palm oil. Buy products that are orangutan friendly - there are lists here and here. And you can sign the Greenpeace petition to stop destructive palm oil production here.