Coca-Cola Under Fire for Removing Gay Couple From Irish Ad

by Winnie McCroy
EDGE Editor
Monday Dec 30, 2013
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This gay couple was removed from Coke’s ’Reasons to Believe’ ad
This gay couple was removed from Coke’s ’Reasons to Believe’ ad  (Source:Coca Cola Norway)

Coca-Cola made waves across the pond after officials from the soda company removed images of a same-sex couple getting married in their "Reasons to Believe" campaign.

Ireland’s Eile Magazine, criticized the international company for the move in a recent article, especially in light of the fact that the campaign is based on the concept that for every negative moment in life, there are many more positive ones taking place.

"In the main version of the advert -- or rather, the version which is being used in other European countries -- there is a scene where two men have just been married, and are surrounded by friends and family. In the Irish version of the new advert, however, no such scene exists," writes Scott De Buitléir in that article.

The version containing the same-sex couple is being used in the Dutch, Norwegian and British versions of the advertisement, while Queerty notes that the one featuring straight Australia newlyweds Jamie and Nikki is being show in Ireland, France and Denmark.

In response to a query from the Irish website TheJournal.ie, a spokesperson for the company said the advertisement has been tailored for each market where it will be shown and has been informed by consumer research in each individual market.

"The core objective is that the vignettes in the ad resonate with people in each country and that they are truly representative of cultural issues that they are familiar with and value," they said. "You will note for example that the St Patrick’s Day scene is only included in the Irish version as it is only here that it is truly relevant from a cultural perspective."

According to The Journal, the Coke spokesperson explained that the ad was changed for Ireland because while civil partnership for gay people is legal, gay marriage currently is not.

"We wanted each ad to be relevant and valid for its own market," they added.

Coca-Cola is one of the major sponsors of the controversial Sochi Winter Olympics, and the multinational company has already faced pressure from LGBT pressure group All Out for their involvement with the games, although the company decided to maintain the status quo despite meeting members of All Out to discuss LGBT rights in Russia.


Winnie McCroy is the Women on the EDGE Editor, HIV/Health Editor, and Assistant Entertainment Editor for EDGE Media Network, handling all women’s news, HIV health stories and theater reviews throughout the U.S. She has contributed to other publications, including The Village Voice, Gay City News, Chelsea Now and The Advocate, and lives in Brooklyn, New York, where she writes about local restaurants in her food blog, http://brooklyniscookin.blogspot.com/

Comments

  • Anonymous, 2013-12-31 03:40:36

    Well, gay marriage is legal now in France, so maybe they should reconsider.


  • Chris Villalpando, 2013-12-31 10:09:04

    I completely agree with the coke company. Every advertisement needs to be tailored to its specific market. We are gay but we’re not babies guys...seriously dont make a big deal about a darn commercial. Instead of looking at irelands edited commercial be proud that a gay wedding is even being shown at all!!!!


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