Watch: UK supermarket's cartoon ad for festive season banned for being too political

A UK supermarket's Christmas TV advert which targets deforestation and the use of palm oil in products has been banned for being too political.

The Guardian reports the supermarket made a deal with environmental activitist group Greenpeace as part of their festive campaign this year.

Together, they made a short animated film featuring an orangutan and the destruction of its rainforest habitat due to palm oil growers to show the harsh reality of habitat loss in countries like Malaysia who are a major global producer of palm oil.

The deforestation and harvesting of palm oil has since contributed to the orangutan now being classified as critically endangered.

"We wanted [the Greenpeace film] to be our signature campaign," said Richard Walker, a son of the food company's founder.

"We have said repeatedly we are not anti-palm oil, we are anti-deforestation."

But Clearcast, the company responsible for checking ads before they are broadcast to the public, said the ad was in breach of rules banning political advertising laid down by the 2003 Communications Act.

Clearcast said their stance on the matter was due to concerns the ad was "linked to another organisation who have not yet been able to demonstrate compliance in this area".

Iceland Foods, who became the first major UK supermarket to pledge to remove palm oil from all of their foods earlier this year, will still be playing TV ads, but only 10-second clips that highlight palm oil-free products. 

"We think this is a huge story that needs to be told," Walker said.

"We always knew there was a risk [the clip would not be cleared for TV] but we gave it our best shot."