The (not) banned Iceland ad. But don’t try selling Rang-Tan™ merchandise.

You’ve seen Rang-Tan™. I know you have. You clicked on the link your uni mate shared on Facebook and you felt a bit, well, naughty. You were watching it. The banned advert.

Round of applause for Iceland and Greenpeace.

It is highly unlikely that the advert was ever going to make it on to our tv screens. It’s even less likely that the team behind the advert at Iceland ever thought it would make it there. The fact that Iceland added very little of their own creativity to the advert arguably demonstrates that. They took a Greenpeace film in full and added their own brief message at the end of it.

So why did they bother? Look around you. Type “banned Iceland ad” into Google and see just how much press coverage it’s had.

That’s why.

By getting a “negative” decision from Clearcast, and spinning the life out of it; they’ve pushed it into the consciousness of far more people than would likely have paid attention if it had been shown during a break in Corrie.

So it did the job, the message has been spread out there effectively.

What next? Well, I don’t want to be cynical but there’s probably going to be some Rang-Tan™ merchandise coming to an Iceland store near you very soon.

A UK trade mark application for RANG-TAN was filed in August and is currently open for opposition until 28 November 2018.

The application covers all kinds of things including clothing, stuffed toys, key rings and stickers. It also covers “cartoon character licensing”. If registered, the owner will have the right to stop anyone else using RANG-TAN (or anything confusingly similar) on the same or similar products.

Before you start plotting your own spin-off support, or range of Rang-Tan™ products; beware of the risks in stepping too close or suggesting a link with a viral campaign. However good your intentions. Always ask permission from the owner first.

(The trade mark is owned by DHH Limited, a private company, listed on the Jersey Companies Registry. You won’t get a lot of information from the publicly available documents, but I’m sure you’d get a cease and desist letter pretty soon if you use the name without permission).

More info:

RANG-TAN trade mark application details

Greenpeace Palm Oil information


Advertising Standards Agency BCAP

Photo credit: Herbert2512 on Pixabay