Coca-Cola has been criticised for its decision to cut a gay marriage scene from the Irish version of its new "Reasons to believe" campaign, with the soft drinks giant arguing 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 show Coke’s audience that there is "more good than bad in the world".
Coke has stated that the ad appears slightly differently in each market, tailoring the footage to its different audiences, but the Irish version of the ad has cut the scene depicting a gay marriage.
The brand has been criticised by Irish LGBT publication Eile.ie and continues to receive harsh criticism on Twitter, as the news of the ad spreads.
Coke’s UK and Ireland marketing activation director Brid Drohan-Stewart said at the time of the campaign’s launch in December 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 which outlined that the "core objective" in 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 points 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".
Coke stated: "The wedding images used in the ad for the UK and other parts of Europe show two men getting married. The reason that was changed for Ireland is that while civil partnership for gay people is legal, gay marriage currently is not. This will be the subject of a referendum (2015)."
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