Drinks giant, currently under fire for sponsoring the Sochi Olympics in Russia, included a gay wedding scene in most European countries with marriage equality
Coca-Cola is under fire for cutting a gay wedding scene from their latest advert to air in Ireland.
The new campaign, Reasons To Believe, shows familiar scenes intended to inspire viewers such as charity runners, cakes being baked and child choirs.
In one part of the advert, the line reads ‘For every display of hatred’ – showing a gang breaking into a car – ‘there are 5000 celebrations of love’ – which shows, in many countries, a gay couple getting married.
But in Ireland, the gay couple scene is replaced with an image of a young straight, interracial couple walking down the aisle.
Every country’s ad is tweaked to fit where it is shown. In the UK, a red card is shown at a football match while Ireland includes St Patrick’s Day.
Jerry Buttimer, a gay Fine Gael politician, told the Irish Mirror Coke must reintroduce the segment for Irish audiences.
‘I would be advocating that they should reinstate that part of the ad,’ he said. ‘They shouldn’t be marginalising or alienating or discriminating against any person on the island.’
He added: ‘Civil partnerships have been hugely successful in Ireland.’
While the Republic of Ireland is behind neighbors England and Wales in legalizing same-sex marriage, with Scotland on the road to passing its own legislation, there is large support for equality.
A 2013 survey showed 73% of Irish people agree same-sex marriage should be allowed in the Constitution. The first civil partnership in Ireland took place in 2011.
But until Ireland passes equal marriage, it looks unlikely Coca Cola will be changing their minds.
A Coke spokeswoman said: ‘The wedding images used in the ad for the UK and in other parts of Europe show two men getting married.
‘The reason this was changed for Ireland is 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.’
Check out the Ireland version of the advert below:
And the UK version here: