Coca-Cola | Gay Marriage | Ireland | News

Coca-Cola Removes Gay Marriage Scene From Irish TV Ad: VIDEO


Coca-Cola has stirred a bit of controversy across the pond after the beverage company omitted a scene that depicts two men getting married for the Irish broadcast of a new commercial launched across Europe, according to The ad is said to be tailored slightly to each country in which it is shown. Coca-Cola says that since gay marriage is not yet legal in Ireland, the scene in question was left out whereas it was left in for audiences in the UK, Norway, and Holland as those countries all allow same-sex marriage. However, many took to Twitter to share their displeasure over the omission.

The LGBT publication said that the ad campaign titled Reasons To Believe, leaves the scene out of the Irish version of the new advert.

Highlighting the differences between the Dutch, Norwegian and British versions the new Reasons To Believe advertisement for the other countries shows the scene where two men are getting married.

The Coca-Cola adverts do include different images in each advert depending on the country they are being shown in.

In response to a query from, 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.”

 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. This will be the subject of a referendum (2015).

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

You can watch the Norwegian version of the commercial (which contains the gay marriage scene) and the Irish one (which does not) AFTER THE JUMP...

Norwegian Coca-Cola Commercial

Irish Coca-Cola Commercial

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  1. I am Irish (living in Dublin) and don't see any animus here - I suspect that a high-level decision was simply made that the scene would only be included in jurisdictions where SSM is legal. This, in and of itself, indicates absolutely nothing about the stance of the company re: LGBT equality.

    We should bear in mind that multinational conglomerates such as Coca Cola who wish to appeal to a universal audience tend to be very cautious and bland; but being bland and cautious does not necessarily constitute a snub

    Posted by: Mundus | Dec 29, 2013 6:43:43 PM

  2. Seriously who cares.

    Coca Cola is a corporation that like all corporations cares ONLY about profit.

    Coca Cola is sponsoring the Sochi Hatelympics and refuses to condemn Russia's fascist homophobia because staying silent is better for its profits.

    Coke's PR people think that omitting gay marriage from its Irish advert is better business for them.

    Coke does not care about gay people or straight people, black people or white people.

    Like each and every corporation it will throw us under the bus if it is better for sales and profit.

    Expecting a corporation to act with integrity is a losing game.

    Posted by: MaryM | Dec 29, 2013 6:44:30 PM

  3. Coca-Cola should be stripped of it's high equality indexes, they officially hate gay people!

    Posted by: litper | Dec 29, 2013 6:50:59 PM

  4. Mundus - well Coke says that because Ireland only has CPs they did not want to use a gay marriage element in their advert. Then again Scotland and Northern Ireland only have CPs as well but the gay marriage element is included.

    Coke is lying but as it's a corporation this is entirely predictable - Coke does not care about gay rights - it cares about profit ad sales.

    By the way - I hope Coke is paying Towleroad for the advert here. Or is Towleroad airing the advert free of charge?

    Posted by: MaryM | Dec 29, 2013 6:52:22 PM

  5. @Marym:

    "Then again Scotland and Northern Ireland only have CPs as well but the gay marriage element is included."

    I must admit I did not realise that (although it should be noted that Scotland should have SSM very shortly).

    If you are correct then, Yes, it is most odd; the only other thing that occurs to me is that Ireland is due to have a constitutional referendum on SSM in 2015 and they, perhaps, were very nervous about being seen to act to influence the outcome.

    Either that or they were extremely lazy and assumed that because Ireland is nominally a Catholic nation that such a depiction might cause offence. In which case they are foolish - every poll shows that the overwhelming majority of Irish citizens support SSM.

    Posted by: Mundus | Dec 29, 2013 7:00:52 PM

  6. Is there some way of behaving at a CP that makes it visually distinct from a wedding?

    In other words, could you tell from the footage that it was or wasn't a legal marriage rather than a celebration of a civil partnership?

    Posted by: Lymis | Dec 29, 2013 7:01:24 PM

  7. Looking at that Coke advert (posted for free by this site) I notice that not a single person is over the age of about 30.

    Posted by: MaryM | Dec 29, 2013 7:07:20 PM

  8. Since Coke wants the add to be relevant to each country where it is shown, does that mean that the version shown in Russia will have two gay men being beaten while the police look on approvingly?

    Posted by: anon | Dec 29, 2013 7:13:31 PM

  9. Coca-Cola really doesn't want my money, ever, do they?

    Posted by: Randy | Dec 29, 2013 7:16:22 PM

  10. I don't think that this is a BIG ISSUE. The explanation Coke gave seems reasonable enough. Gay people cannot expect a business to become a partisan player in the culture wars. Clearly, Coke is pretty neutral on the subject of gay rights, and that should be OK.

    Posted by: Ernst Rhoem's Ghost | Dec 29, 2013 7:41:13 PM

  11. @Marym - Scotland and Northern Ireland are part of the UK and therefore part of the same TV market as England and Wales where SSM is legal. You can't air two different national commercials - only different local commercials and they only air out of primetime when they're cheap.

    Posted by: Jack Ford | Dec 29, 2013 7:50:45 PM

  12. The irony being that Ireland could very well have full national marriage equality before the USA.

    "According to a survey conducted last year for Marriage Equality, a group for civil marriage for gay and lesbian people in Ireland, 75 percent of the Irish people would vote yes in a referendum to extend civil marriage to same-sex couples."

    Posted by: Lexis | Dec 29, 2013 8:21:03 PM

  13. The irony being that Ireland could very well have full national marriage equality before the USA.

    "According to a survey conducted last year for Marriage Equality, a group for civil marriage for gay and lesbian people in Ireland, 75 percent of the Irish people would vote yes in a referendum to extend civil marriage to same-sex couples."

    Posted by: Lexis | Dec 29, 2013 8:21:03 PM

  14. I thought it was because Irish men are all butt ugly and the gents getting married in the advertisement are too handsome to be Irish.

    Posted by: American Dreamer | Dec 29, 2013 8:41:29 PM

  15. @Litper: GOY (and hurry!)

    Posted by: Joseph Singer | Dec 29, 2013 9:06:17 PM

  16. Hmmm, the gay couple featured in the ad is also Australian and held their wedding ceremony there (it was featured here on Towleroad). Ironically that country is where...wait for it...same sex marriage is also not legal nationally. Sort of undermines Coca Cola's whole relevancy argument.

    Posted by: jJamesC | Dec 29, 2013 9:43:06 PM

  17. Technically, SSM has not yet gone into effect in England and Wales, so, according to their reasoning, that scene is not yet relevant anywhere in the UK.

    Posted by: Merv | Dec 29, 2013 11:14:22 PM

  18. Which is better: A company that includes representations of gay/lesbian people in a small number of targeted ads or one that completely ignores us?

    Posted by: alex | Dec 29, 2013 11:24:57 PM

  19. Coca Cola = all things corporate. Equal rights for all = all things human! Despite the dying brains of some of the USA's Supreme Court Justices, this is one more of millions of instances of proof that corporations are not human persons and should not be afforded the same civil rights, anymore than a farm tractor or dollar bill should be considered a human person under the US Constitution.

    Posted by: Thomas Cardellino | Dec 30, 2013 12:01:31 AM

  20. The Coca-Cola Company's explanation of the Ads sounds well thought out and perfectly reasonable.

    Posted by: andrew | Dec 30, 2013 12:10:51 AM

  21. Mountains out mole hills

    Posted by: Eric Hufford | Dec 30, 2013 12:19:34 AM

  22. Yes, we're invisible just like I don't drink that poison.

    Posted by: Sean Maloney | Dec 30, 2013 1:29:15 AM

  23. The gay couple in the advertisement is Australian: . They are not legally married.

    I wouldn't like to see this blown out of proportion because it is not as though Coca-Cola harmed us in any way. I am just curious why they did what they did.

    Posted by: John | Dec 30, 2013 6:30:34 AM

  24. Coca Cola IS harming gay people though.

    It is pumping millions into the Sochi Hatelympics and allowing the Putin dictatorship advertise Russia as a non-fascist state.

    Coca Cola does NOT care about LGBT equality or human rights. It cares about profit and it will throw us under the bus the moment it is convenient for them.

    Posted by: MaryM | Dec 30, 2013 6:48:48 AM

  25. Is it really true that if you put your integrity in a glass of coke overnight it will disappear?

    Posted by: mark | Dec 30, 2013 8:30:49 AM

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