Coopers has responded to backlash over their involvement in the Bible Society‘s “Keeping It Light” campaign with a video emphasising their support for marriage equality and announcing that they will no longer be providing the Bible Society with the commemorative cans they were planning to release.
The Bible Society released a video on the weekend depicting Liberal MP Tim Wilson and Liberal MP Andrew Hastie having a “light” chat about their differing opinions on marriage equality while drinking Coopers Premium Light. The marketing material for the campaign stated that the video was a collaboration with Coopers, which lead to Coopers coming under fire for their seeming tacit endorsement of the anti-gay marriage position (you can read an explanation here on why that’s a bit shady).
Coopers initially released a statement suggesting that it was all in a bit of fun but, after facing continued criticism, released a second statement stating that they had no financial involvement in the video and did not endorse the use of their beer. The video released today was under mounting pressure they faced as venues began boycotting the beer.
In the video, managing director Dr Tim Cooper and director of finance and corporate affairs Melanie Cooper say they regret the impact that their involvement had:
“On behalf of the Coopers Board and senior staff, we are incredibly saddened by the impact our involvement with the Bible Society has had on our valued Coopers drinkers and our extended family.
“As a longstanding philanthropic company, Coopers Brewery has been passionate about supporting all aspects of our community, and has actively and financially embraced many different organisations.
“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. Coopers never intended to make light of such an important issue, and would never and did not approve the making or release of the Bible Society video ‘debate’.”
They also state they will be joining Australian Marriage Equality to make their position clear:
“Our company supports marriage equality. Offence has been taken by our recent involvement, for which we are deeply sorry. We have listened to a range of community views, we acknowledge this feedback and respect everyone’s individual opinions and beliefs.
“We have consequently cancelled the release of our Bible Society commemorative cans and will be taking steps to show further support for our community, including joining Australian Marriage Equality.
“Our company brews great beer that we are passionate about, and we warmly embrace all Australians.”
It seems a little heavy-handed to also cancel the release of the commemorative cans which were unrelated to the video, but, if Coopers are to be believed, the Bible Society just embroiled them in a huge scandal without every actually asking them if they wanted to be involved.
Either way, you can go back to drinking Coopers now, I guess.
You can watch the video below:
— Coopers Brewery (@coopersbrewery) March 14, 2017
Remind you of anything?
— Lindsay McDowens (@doctormcdougall) March 14, 2017
Source and photo: Coopers.