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More than 500,000 people have signed a petition to overturn the ban on Iceland’s Christmas advert.

The spot, which highlights the impact of palm oil on the environment, was blocked from TV by ad vetting body Clearcast because it “contravened the prohibition on political advertising”.

Between the ban coming to light on Friday and the time of writing, some 550,542 signatures have been lodged on a change.org petition to “release Iceland’s banned Christmas ad on TV”.

Addressed to Clearcast, the petition urges those who “believe the ban should be overturned” to sign so the ad can be on screens at Christmas.

Mark Topps, who started the petition, wrote: “As a father of three who thinks this ad would help educate people about how their products are killing orangutans and their homes, I feel banning this advert is an injustice.”

Despite its lack of TV time, the ad has amassed 2.6m views on Iceland’s YouTube channel alone and has been shared by celebrities including TV hosts James Corden and Jake Humphrey.

 

The outpouring of social media support has led some to suggest that the supermarket chain may have known its ad was going to get banned all along and has carefully orchestrated the reaction.

Iceland, however, claims it spent around £500,000 on the campaign and was booking "primetime" TV slots through its media agency 7stars.