Social media backlash against Coca-Cola continues after it removes same-sex wedding scene from 'Reasons to Believe' campaign in Ireland

Coca-Cola is still facing online backlash days after it was revealed the brand had dropped scenes featuring a gay wedding from its ‘Reasons to Believe’ global campaign airing in Ireland. The campaign features a number of joyous moments with one scene featuring a same-sex marriage. Though the campaign is only airing in The Netherlands, Norway and Great Britain, Coca-Cola is facing backlash on social media from consumers worldwide, with comments from America, Italy, Singapore, France, Spain, and Tunisia to name but a few. Among those criticising the brand for removing the images from the Irish creative are Gregory Kimball, digital strategy and communication of L’Oreal USA; Ruben Ramirez, head of video at The Street Inc.; and Pete Way, head of digital UK at Weber Shandwick.

Coca-Cola has defended its decision to drop the gay wedding scene in Ireland, commenting that “while civil partnership for gay people is legal, gay marriage currently is not [in Ireland].”However, LGBT-focused EILE Magazine, described the company's response as "disingenuous", as the wedding footage used isn't actually from a gay marriage but instead from an Australian civil partnership, noting that the uncut ad is also airing in the UK, despite Scotland and Northern Ireland still not allow same-sex marriage. EILE Magazine, editor-in-chief, Scott De Buitléir, told The Drum: "It was disappointing that Coca Cola Ireland omitted the scene in question. This clip was of an Australian same-sex couple who had undergone a civil partnership, which has been legal in the Republic of Ireland since 2011. In their statement, Coca Cola Ireland, who have said that it was a same-sex marriage, indicated that the scene was not "relevant" and "valid" for Ireland, but we have shown that it would have been extremely suitable, as it was not a same-sex marriage, but a same-sex union (civil partnership) ceremony by Australian couple, Clinton & Callum."

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