Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek. 

We're coming to that time of year where we pretend that all humans have hearts and love will find a way.

That time when we give each other gifts, sometimes reluctantly, and hope to get better gifts in return.

That's somewhat the logic of companies that release warm, emotional Christmas ads. 

They hope that, on giving you such a gift, you'll immediately rush over to their store to buy lots of things you don't need.

Still, the UK's Iceland supermarket chain thought it would raise the tone a little.

What was the baby orangutan doing in her room? Running away from the nasty humans who are destroying its forest, in search of palm oil to put in foods.

Naturally, the little girl takes up the orangutan's cause.

She'll fight for its survival.

She'll presumably make a plea to Santa that he should fly his reindeer over the nasty humans and drop coal all over their rapacious heads.

You might be wondering what all this has to do with Iceland.

Well, the chain is taking this opportunity to say it's removing palm oil from all its own-label products.

A very Christmassy gesture, you might think. 

Not according to the UK authorities who approve ads, it isn't. 

You see this ad was originally a Greenpeace film. Iceland merely asked if it could use it and change the ending a little.

Which the UK ad authorities deemed political. So they banned it from UK screens.

One can't let British children hear political messages, you know. They might grow up wanting to be part of Europe again.

Iceland insists it's not anti-palm oil, merely anti-deforestation. 

You can imagine, though, that it knew what the rules were and that the ad might be banned.

Which would then create huge publicity. Which would perfectly serve Iceland's purposes and perhaps even save it a little money along the way.

Indeed, as Richard Walker, son of chain's founder Malcolm, told the Guardian: "We always knew there was a risk [the clip would not be cleared for TV] but we gave it our best shot."

Oh, I think you gave it a very fine, cost-effective shot indeed, Richard. 

As I write, the ad has already enjoyed around 1.5 million views on YouTube.

Published on: Nov 10, 2018