Australia’s biggest beer brand boycotted after same-sex marriage ad

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

A beer company is being boycotted after it appeared in an advert on same-sex marriage.

Coopers Beer Company, the largest independent brewer in Australia, is facing boycotts across the country following the advert.

The brand appeared in an ad with two MPs debating their views on marriage equality, which is not currently legal in the country.

Several Australian bars have now dumped Coopers brewery following the ad made for religious group the Bible Society.

The video, called Keeping it Light, saw conservative politicians Tim Wilson (for same-sex marriage) and Andrew Hastie (against) debating the issue in what they call a “civil and respectful way”.

In the video, Mr Wilson, who is gay, argues: “I believe that it would be sensible to change the act that deals with issues around civil marriage to include two people regardless of their gender.”

Mr Hastie counters: “I’m for retaining the current definition of marriage, which is between a man and a woman.”

Coopers beer can be clearly seen throughout the video, with large images of the bottles showing throughout the end titles.

The beer company has now been accused of opposing LGBT equality for appearing in the video.

Coopers has since claimed it “did not give permission” to be included in the video, and denied opposing same-sex marriage laws.

However, it’s now emerged that the company made a special version of their beer for the 200th anniversary of the Bible Society.

At least eight drinking spots in Sydney and Melbourne had publicly declared they would not stock Coopers.

Following the row, Coopers have now axed the commemorative cans for the Bible Society, and come out in favour of marriage equality.

It’s now joining the Australian Marriage Equality group, saying: “Our company supports marriage equality,” according to Director of Corporate Affairs Melanie Cooper.

Bible Society chief executive Greg Clarke told the BBC: “At first I was surprised the reaction was so immediate and extreme, but then on reflection [I] wasn’t surprised because this really seems to be how social media works at the moment.”

Australia’s PM has been criticised over same-sex marriage, and recently declined to attend pride.