Coca-Cola took a bold step when it included a gay marriage in the anthem spot for its new global campaign, but now gay-rights advocates say the brand is already backing down on its support by editing the scene out of an Irish version of the ad.
The “Reasons to Believe” anthem spot posted online and running in the Netherlands, Norway and Great Britain features an array of happy moments, including a same-sex male couple getting married. But as you can see in the comparison below, the version running in predominantly Catholic Ireland omits the scene.
A Coca-Cola spokesperson sent the following explanation to Ireland news site TheJournal.ie: “As you rightly say, the wedding images used in the ad for the UK and in other parts of Europe show two men getting married. The reason that this was changed for Ireland is that while civil partnership for gay people is legal, gay marriage currently is not.”
But LGBT-focused EILE Magazine, which brought the issue to light, called the company’s response disingenuous. The magazine noted that the wedding footage is actually from a civil union (not a state-sanctioned marriage) in Australia and that the uncut ad is also airing in Great Britain, where Scotland and Northern Ireland still do not allow same-sex marriage.
Obviously the brand will be under pretty intense scrutiny as it rolls out more versions customized to the countries where “Reasons to Believe” will be running.