The banned Christmas ad that inspired Gas Angel’s tree-planting pledge

Written by: Amy Mooney

As we start to gear up for Christmas, we thought now would be a good time to talk about the festive, but sadly banned TV ad that inspired us into making a pledge to plant two trees every time a customer signs up for or renews a boiler cover plan with Gas Angel.

The fact that gas boiler emissions play a role in climate change was of course a key driver. It makes sense that, as we carry out more boiler repairs and boiler servicing to preserve the life of gas boilers, we plant more trees to offset the impact gas boilers have on our planet.

Picture of the Orangutan from the Banned Advert that Inspired Gas Angel to Plant Trees for Boiler Cover Customers

And of course, as new central heating methods emerge, we’ll be right at the front of the queue to consider how we can support more environmentally-friendly systems.

However, it was a visit to my little boy’s school in 2019 by the JUST ONE Tree team that first drew my attention to the banned advert and the impact of deforestation in particular.

JUST ONE Tree engaged with my son’s school to help educate them on climate change, deforestation, and what they could do to make a positive difference. This was followed by a viewing and debate based on Iceland’s 2018 Christmas advert – the advert that was banned from our television screens for being ‘too political’.

This advert had a big effect on my son. In fact, he was heartbroken – and for good reason. The more I learn myself on the subject the more I realise that raising awareness of environmental issues amongst young children can only serve to protect them as they grow up in an endangered world.

If you haven’t seen the banned Iceland ad click here, it’s well worth a watch.

It’s an animation, voiced by Nanny McPhee star Emma Thompson, that sees a little girl puzzled as to why there’s a naughty little orangutan in her bedroom. But just as he’s about to leave, she stops him to ask why he came to visit in the first place. The animation then flips into a stark and harrowing tale of deforestation, of the orangutans losing their home due to humans destroying their habitat for palm oil.

Iceland partnered up with Greenpeace on this advert, with the key message being that they will not produce any foods containing palm oil. A simple, clear, and powerful message and, in fact, despite being banned, the ad was voted the public’s favourite Christmas ad in 2018.

There have been many people campaigning to bring the ad back to our screens but so far, sadly, campaigners have had no joy.

Cartoon orangutan looking at shampoo containing palm oil

So, what’s the deal with palm oil?

Well, in places such as Malaysia which are major producers of palm oil, we are seeing thousands upon thousands of orangutans losing their lives. In fact, it is estimated that over the last 16 years, 150,000 orangutans have died as a result of deforestation, placing them on the critically endangered species list. These beautiful and graceful creatures could one day be lost to us forever.

The orangutans that initially survive are forced out of their natural habitat and end up straying onto farm and residential land. This then results in more deaths, as frightened farmers and homeowners shoot the orangutans that end up on their property. There’s now a huge campaign in Borneo about orangutans and how they are peaceful animals that should never be shot at.

Mammy and baby Orangutan


It’s a tragic and all too real tale.

So, aside from off-setting boiler CO2, the future of our primates around the world is another reason we need to urgently commit to reforestation. But there are many more and it’s astonishing to learn of the true impact that deforestation is having on our planet.

To read more about JUST ONE Tree and the impact of deforestation, visit their website.

More about our boiler cover

To find out about our boiler cover plans, and have two trees planted on your behalf, check out our three boiler cover options today.


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