An emotional ‘Christmas’ ad was blocked from TV for being too political

A tear-jerking advertisement was set to be the centerpiece of a U.K. supermarket’s Christmas promotions, but the company says the ad has been “banned” from television for its connection to a political issue.

Iceland Foods released the “Banned TV Christmas Advert” on YouTube Thursday, and it was quickly viewed more than a million times.

The company hoped to air “Rang-tan” – an ad originally published by environmental advocacy group Greenpeace – to tout the supermarket’s commitment to remove palm oil from its product line at Christmas.

The oil, which is extracted from the fruit of the oil palm tree, has been panned by critics for its impact on deforestation.

Citing Greenpeace’s involvement, an organization tasked with clearing advertisements did not approve the spot. That effectively bars the Emma Thomson-narrated ad from appearing on UK television, the Guardian reports.

The cartoon ad begins as a whimsical children’s nursery rhyme about a naughty orangutan wrecking havoc in a young girl’s bedroom. Frustrated with the misbehaving animal, the child banishes it:

Oh rang-tan in my bedroom

Just before you go

Why were you in my bedroom?

I really want to know

The ad soon transitions to a bleak depiction of the effects of deforestation on the orangutan’s habitat. 

There are humans in my forest

And I don’t know what to do

They’re burning it for palm oil

So I thought I’d stay with you

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