For the past two weeks Australians have watched a PR disaster unfold. A video called “Keeping it Light” (made for the Bible Society), featuring two conservative politicians drinking Cooper’s Beer and discussing same-sex marriage, sparked outrage in the community.

Jamie Wilkinson from Cannings Purple joins Nic and Sarah to break down what happened.


Here are some key take-outs:

  • Cooper’s Brewery and the Bible Society probably both acted in good faith but they chose a topic that was a really binary and divisive debate.
  • There wasn’t a well thought out strategy. There was intent to work together but no one seems to have thought it through to the end.
  • The intent was to have two people talk sensibly about a divisive issue. The brand shouldn’t have been in the middle of it. There should have been more rigorous permissions/sign-offs. Cooper’s Brewery has suffered the consequences and it’s not even clear they knew about it.
  • If you’re going to apologise, do it genuinely and do it well. By releasing an apology video that makes you look like you’re being held “hostage” you’re only going to do more brand damage. Get your media training in place and do it regularly, so you have the skills you need when a crisis situation arises.
  • Cooper’s Brewery needs a six-month- to one-year-long crisis strategy to help rebuild its brand with the Australian community and to make clear what its values are and what beliefs and organisations it is aligned with.


Here are the links you might need

  • Cooper’s Brewery has pulled down the main video but you can see some of it here, including the “hostage” apology video.


On your desk…


Have you heard the one about…

Recently the team talked about the dos and don’ts of corporate video.

They also had a really good discussion about how to deliver bad news well.


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