Published: Fri, March 17, 2017
Culture | By Antonia Gonzales

Coopers Brewery Apologises For Connection To Bible Society Marriage Ad

Coopers Brewery Apologises For Connection To Bible Society Marriage Ad

Coopers, which has been embroiled in a brand crisis, has finally come out strongly in support of marriage equality after consumers and pubs began boycotting the brand after a controversial Bible Society video.

"Our company's guiding principles have centred around respect for others, and, as such, the recent activity surrounding the video made by the Bible Society has conflicted with our core values".

After the release of that disastrous "Keep It Light" video, senior representatives from the South Australian brewery have come out with a video mea culpa, in which they try to distance themselves from the debacle.

The ad itself is part of the Bible Society's "Keeping It Light" campaign which saw Liberal MPs Tim Wilson and Andrew Hastie sitting at a Parliament House cafe, talking about same-sex marriage. The debate series was to form part of the Society's 200th anniversary, which was to feature on some of Coopers Lights' commemorative cans and include verses from the Bible.

The "very warm chat" is all over a frosty Coopers Premium Light beer, which features prominently in the video called Keeping It Light.

"Bible Society remains grateful to Coopers for both the release of light beer commemorating our bicentenary and their support through their foundation for the distribution of bibles to the Defence Force and those who need them".

The campaign was met with immediate backlash when it first surfaced widely over the weekend, with criticisms of government MPs participating in what seemed to be a native advertising campaign for an alcohol company, as well as the clear religious overtones of the campaign.

"Coopers Brewery has always been supportive of diversity and encourages inedividualism".

"We are not serving Coopers Beer until a more positive response is received to the Marriage Equality Debate", a sign at Hollywood Hotel in Sydney reads - a photo that was posted on Facebook.

The Bible Society media manager, John Pearson, told BuzzFeed News the organisation did not have an official position on same-sex marriage and the video was meant to "keep it light".

Melanie Cooper, the brewer's director of corporate affairs, said on Tuesday the company would now join Australian Marriage Equality and take further steps "to show further support for our community".

'Offence has been taken for our recent involvement, for which we are deeply sorry.

The company says its sales have grown 16 percent a year since 2003, while at the same time Australian per capita beer consumption has fallen every year but one.

Bottles of Coopers beer were unceremoniously thrown into a bin by workers at Sircuit, a gay bar in Melbourne.

The Bearded Tit in Redfern shared an article on the topic, simply announcing that Coopers would no longer be available along with the hashtag #keepingitreal. "If Coopers wish to discuss, they have my number".

"I have respected Coopers all my life, and it was crushing to realise that as a queer person, they don't respect me", wrote Chloe Sargeant for the Special Broadcasting Service. I have made mine.

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