Music venues are beginning to boycott Coopers Brewery, after the company caused controversy with a video about same-sex marriage which was created as part of a campaign with the Bible Society of Australia.
Late last week, the Bible Society released a video called ‘Keeping It Light’ (below), in which Liberal Party MPs Tim Wilson and Andrew Hastie discuss the issue of same-sex marriage. The video features close-up shots of Coopers’ Premium Light beer as Wilson and Hastie argue their differing views on the topic.
What’s more, to help mark the Bible Society’s 200th birthday, Coopers has also created a 10,000-strong batch of beer featuring the society’s logo on the cans and bible verses on the carton packaging. It’s all part of a campaign “to reach even more Australians with God’s word”.
This has led many regular Coopers drinkers to boycott the brewery’s drop, while venues are also coming out against the company.
Melbourne bar and music hotspot The Old Bar has already decided to boycott Coopers, saying in a statement posted to Facebook:
“Unfortunately we will no longer be purchasing any stock from Coopers. It’s a sad day for us as over the many years we have built a strong relationship, yet after recent events it is very obvious that our values are at odds.
“We will have stock for the next week or so if you want to come and enjoy the last of it in our venue. Hopefully you will all be very happy with what we can pour you over the coming years.”
Responding to punters’ Facebook comments, the venue has added that it isn’t trying to stop people from drinking Coopers.
“We just refuse to stock something that doesn’t align with our values and has now actively pushed an agenda we don’t agree with. Drink it as much as you want, it just won’t be at our crummy bar,” it says.
Melbourne bar Sircuit has gone as far as to throw out any Coopers it had in stock, and has shared footage of the disposal online:
Meanwhile, Sydney’s Newtown Hotel has already replaced Coopers with Rocks Brewing Company’s Boxer Red Ale, and is donating $1 from every pint sold in March to GetUp!, to help support its work with the LGBTIQ community.
Sydney’s Hotel Hollywood has also taken to Facebook to say “we will be re assessing our relationship with Coopers”.
Coopers has released a statement saying its commemorative Bible Society cans “aren’t trying to push a religious message”, and has also tried to distance itself from the ‘Keeping It Light’ video.
“We want you to know that Coopers did not give permission for our Premium Light beer to feature in, or ‘sponsor’ the Bible Society’s ‘Keeping It Light’ video featuring Andrew Hastie and Tim Wilson,” Coopers says.
“We respect the beliefs of our community and do not wish to try and change them.”
Despite the company’s attempt to distance itself from the video, the Bible Society’s website still says it “teamed up with Coopers Premium Light to ask Australians to try ‘Keeping it Light'”.
Coopers’ statement also hasn’t stopped Twitter from having a field day at the company’s expense…
Coopers is also the former major sponsor of the Australian Music Prize, but its associate with the prize came to an end after 2014’s winner was announced.
Watch the Bible Society and Coopers’ ‘Keeping It Light’ video, below.