Unless you have been living in another dimension, over the past few days you will have heard about and possibly even seen Iceland’s Christmas advert, which has been banned (by Clearcast, the advertising regulatory body) for being ‘directed towards a political end’. So what’s all the fuss about?
The advert is a reworked cartoon originally made by Greenpeace and voiced by the actress Emma Thompson about the plight of a baby orangutan called ‘Rangtan’ who has had to move into a little girl’s bedroom because of the destruction of the rainforest – due to the production of palm oil.

Iceland not only want to get the message out there about the plight of the rainforests in Borneo, as well as the impact it is having on the animals that live there, but also do something about it themselves by phasing palm oil out of their own brand products. It is a powerful message and one that resonates with an awful lot of people.

Because of Clearcast’s ruling you can you can only watch the 90 second advert on social media and in the past few days on YouTube alone it has had 3.6m views eliciting thousands of shares, likes and comments (you can watch it by clicking here). The statistics are equally impressive elsewhere: on Greenpeace’s Facebook page it has nearly 4m views, Iceland’s Twitter feed has nearly 95k’s worth of likes and over 90k of retweets and the hashtag #rangtan is trending just about everywhere else.
Not only has the advert raised people’s awareness about the rainforests it has also positioned Iceland in an extremely positive light. People are looking favourably on a brand that for many years has been in the slipstream of other retailers and by using the advert to raise awareness about a subject many people are concerned about they have managed to steal the headlines.

So how may you ask does this have anything to do with online reputation management? Digital and online reputation management is about ensuring your online searched for self (or company) is presented in the best possible light on the internet. By taking control and ownership of your own digital footprint you can present the person you want to be on the web, not the one you have little or no control over and which could be damaging professionally and personally. Reputation management is about taking the initiative and creating digital assets that you control, ensuring the content is relevant, positive and related to you.

Don’t think you have to be in the public eye to be concerned about what you are being found for during an online search. If it is negative it could be the difference between being over-looked for a new job or an embarrassing photo being reshared across social media platforms that causes difficulties in your private life.

Thankfully you can do something about it and taking ownership of your online profile usually begins by having a conversation with professionals who can audit your existing digital footprint and then produce a strategy that can be easily implemented. The benefits in doing so are enormous just look at the positive coverage Iceland are reaping as a result.