Customers of Coopers beer are boycotting the product after the company released a set of commemorative light beers with Bible verses printed on its boxes which were featured on a Christian group's video tackling marriage equality.
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To celebrate the Bible Society's 200th anniversary, Coopers launched a range of light beers with Bible verses on its boxes. The Christian group used the products in a video titled "Keeping It Light" which featured a debate on marriage equality between Liberal MP Andrew Hastie and gay politician Tim Wilson, sparking backlash among its customers, The Daily Mail details.
Reacting to the Bible Society's "Keeping It Light" video, several institutions in Melbourne and Sydney - including Hollywood Hotel, The Old Bar, and Newtown Hotel - announced that they will no longer sell Coopers beer. Many Australians followed suit, declaring a boycott via social media.
In the heat of the backlash, Coopers told Daily Mail Australia that it has nothing to do with the Bible Society's controversial video. While the South Australian brewery released an earlier statement describing the debate as "light hearted but balanced" and confirming that it had produced several commemorative products for various entities, the company released a second statement distancing itself from the 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," Coopers said in a statement.
Bible Society, on the other hand, said Coopers did not pay the organization or donate money for the video. A spokesperson said "Keeping It Light" was produced by the Christian group alone and said it intended to use the video to spread God's Word to more people in Australia.
Ahead of the release of Coopers' commemorative beers for Bible Society, the Christian group's CEO Greg Clarke released a statement expressing gratitude for the brewery's support. However, he also anticipated criticism for the group's team-up with the beer maker, Eternity News reports.
Clarke said they recognize Christians' diverse views on alcohol consumption. He also said they are not trying to promote alcohol but the "value of the Bible," adding that a problem arises in the community when alcohol is abused.