Amidst the cat videos and memes on your Facebook feed over the last few days, you probably saw the latest video to go viral in Australia and ruffle some feathers. We’re talking about the Bible Society’s “Keeping it Light” video
sponsored by featuring Coopers Premium Light.
The seven-minute long totally-laid-back-cool-but-definitely-scripted video is part of an overall “Keeping It Light” series, brought to you by the Bible Society, where they will discuss heavy handed and important social and political topics in our society over a brewskie.
The first “Keeping it Light” video featured two Liberal Party MPs – openly gay Tim Wilson and conservative Christian, Andrew Hastie – who discussed their opposing views on marriage equality with a frothy in hand, like basic human rights of people who love each other ain’t no biggie. We’ve had more heated debates over whether gnocchi is considered pasta. But anyway, we digress.
The video which was supposed to facilitate and encourage an ‘open, civil discussion’ on same sex marriage has instead resulted in a handful of bars around Sydney and Melbourne choosing to #BoycottCoopers in show of solidarity towards the fight for Marriage Equality.
Melbourne haunt The Old Bar, Sydney’s Union Hotel Newtown, and Hollywood Hotel in Surry Hills are just a few of the pubs and bars that have vocalised via social media they will no longer stock the beer, with some venues promising to donate money from left over Coopers stock to charities that support the LGBTQI community.
It seems these videos were part of a broader collaboration between Coopers Brewery and the Bible Society Australia,which would see 10,000 cases of limited edition Premium Light Beer released to the public with the Bible Society logo and Bible verses on the cans and slab boxes respectively. Lovely.
Carlton United Breweries can confirm just how detrimental a Boycott can be for a brewery, after loyal customers ditched their drink last year when the Brewer sacked 55 workers, forcing them to reapply for the same job for less pay and conditions.
Somewhere in the Coopers Brewery SA headquarters, a PR manager has been bunkered down over the last 24+ hours, planning the brand’s much needed damage control. The result is an apology video released today, featuring Managing Director, Dr Tim Cooper and Company Secretary Melanie Cooper. The video (below) stresses their support for their diverse community, as well as an apology for making light of such an important social issue.
To show their support in the fight for marriage equality, and the LGBTQI community as a whole (and no doubt to also distance themselves from the Bible Society), they have decided to cancel the release of their commemorative Bible Society Bicentennial cans, as well as join Marriage Equality Australia.
If we know one thing, it’s that who and how people love is not a choice. But when companies decide to align themselves with organisations that are polarising to their target market (and the 75 per cent of Australians in support of Marriage Equality), that is a clear choice, and one that can carry serious consequences.
Also, politicians still look uptight when having a beer.