LONDON: Coca-Cola has been criticized for its decision to cut a gay marriage scene from the Irish version of its new Reasons to Believe campaign, with the soft-drink giant saying it wasn't “relevant” to the market.
The campaign, which launched across Europe shortly after Christmas, features a series of contrasting scenes that show both negative and positive vignettes, aiming to depict to Coca-Cola's audience that there is “more good than bad in the world.”
Coke has said that the ad appears slightly differently in each market after it tailored the footage to different audiences. However, the Irish version of the ad does not have the scene depicting a gay marriage.
Irish LGBT publication Elie.ie has criticized the brand, and it has received harsh criticism on Twitter as news of the ad has spread.
Coke's UK and Ireland marketing activation director Brid Drohan-Stewart said at the time of the campaign's launch that the work is rooted in local research, “talking to people on an emotional level about topics that are relevant to them.”
Irish publication TheJournal.ie received a statement from Coke that outlined that the “core objective” of the ad is that the scenes resonate with people in each country to make sure they are “truly representative of cultural issues that they are familiar with and value.”
Coke pointed out that there is a St. Patrick's Day scene that is only included in the Irish version of the ad because the scene is “truly relevant from a cultural perspective.”
“The wedding images used in the ad for the UK and other parts of Europe show two men getting married,” Coca-Cola stated. “The reason that was changed for Ireland is that while civil partnership for gay people is legal [there], gay marriage currently is not. This will be the subject of a referendum [in 2015]."
This story originally appeared on the website of Marketing.