Iceland sets orangutan animatronic loose in central London

Laura Hannam
Reporter
Iceland ‘abandoned’ the furry friend. (PA Images)

Commuters were in for a shock this morning as Iceland unleashed a surprisingly realistic animatronic orangutan onto central London.

A part-man, part-animatronic ape explored London and even scaled a Christmas tree. This came in retaliation to the frozen food chain’s banned Christmas television advert.

The advert which urged people not to use palm oil products because it destroys the habitat that orangutans lives in, was banned for being too political .

Iceland’s Managing Director Richard Walker said the orangutan roaming London serves as a ‘potent symbol of the effects of deforestation.’

“Our stranded, distressed Orangutan is a stark and potent symbol of the effects of deforestation. We always try to give people a real choice about what they buy and this was a key driver of our decision to allow Iceland customers to join us in saying “no to palm oil,” Walker said.

Iceland’s ape even got to grips with a Christmas tree. (PA Images)

“We are determined to be at the forefront of efforts to guarantee palm oil is not causing rainforest destruction and Iceland will continue to be a driving force until this environmental impact is drastically reduced.”

“I am immensely proud of the work our food development team has carried out to create this new Christmas range without palm oil – a celebration of our commitment to end its use before the year closes,” he added.

The controversial ad has been accused of being deliberately provocative in the hopes of increasing brand awareness. While Iceland adamantly denies this is the case, it currently offers a wide range of Iceland brand specific palm oil free products.

The orangutan tried to make some new friends at Oxford Circus on Wednesday. (PA Images)

Piers Morgan called out the brand’s director Walker on Good Morning Britain as he pointed out that Iceland still stocks many products containing palm oil.

Iceland still carries some 200 non-Iceland branded products that contain the oil. But Walker hit back by saying that he ‘couldn’t control’ all the brands in the world and that he hoped customers would now be compelled to purchase Iceland’s own palm oil free products.

“Because if customers come into our stores and they see Iceland on the label, they can be assured that it doesn’t contain palm oil, this is about giving customers a choice, where previously there was none,” he said.


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