Coca-Cola’s new ad, “Reasons To Believe,” will run in the Netherlands, Norway, the United Kingdom and Ireland – but one country will get a different version.
In heavily-Catholic Ireland, a wedding scene will feature a mixed-race couple instead of the two gay men shown in the version running in the other three countries.
A spokesperson for Coca-Cola told TheJournal.ie that the ad is tailored for each market, based on consumer research.
“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,” Coke told The Journal. The statement referred to a St. Patrick’s Day scene included only in the Irish version, adding:
“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 .”
Coca-Cola is facing criticism from gay activists who disagree with the move.
Jerry Buttimer, an “openly gay politician for Ireland’s Fine Gael political party,” is calling on the company to include the gay wedding scene in the Irish version of the ad, according to The Christian Post.
“I would be advocating that they should reinstate that part of the ad,” Buttimer said, according to the Post. “Coke [has] been behind some great advertising campaigns before. So they shouldn’t be marginalizing or alienating or discriminating against any person on the island.”
The Coca-Cola ads feature negative experiences offset by positive ones. Watch the two versions below.
The Norwegian version:
The Irish version:
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