Coca-Cola changes cans to support marriage equality
THEY'VE been red since before anyone can remember. But the famous red Coca-Cola can will soon get an added splash of colour.
Sydney's iconic Kings Cross Coke sign is changing, too, with the red hue replaced by a rainbow from 6pm on Tuesday night.
The reason for getting rid of the red in favour of the rainbow is because the drinks giant is very publicly getting behind the 'yes' campaign for same-sex marriage.
Ballots for the $122m postal survey on same-sex marriage are being mailed from Tuesday and are expected to land in mailboxes from early next week.
The big change to the cans wasn't supposed to be revealed until tomorrow, but images of the new tins has already leaked online like fizzy drink seeping out of a unscrewed bottle.
The company has placed marriage equality alongside other global human rights struggles and states that it believes "it's time for a change" in Australia.
Not everyone may agree with its stance, Coke conceded, but it's making the statement anyway to support its "staff and customers".
Coca-Cola joins hundreds of other businesses and organisations supporting the 'yes' campaign including Qantas, Apple, Target, Westpac, Cricket Australia, the NRL and AFL.
In a statement the company said, "Every person has the right to happiness, so we believe it's time for a change in Australia.
"No matter whom you are or who you love, all couples should be treated equally."
From Wednesday, hundreds of thousands of Coke cans will be distributed with the famous Coca-Cola script changed to the word 'love'.
In the 'o' of love, is a rainbow heart.
Coca-Cola wouldn't reveal to news.com.au how many of the cans were being produced but a spokesman stressed there would only be a limited run. The cans will be available country wide but they were expected to quickly sell out.
The Sydney Coke signs, which tower over Kings Cross and can be seen from the CBD, will also get a makeover.
One of the two signs will be given over to giant artwork urging people to vote yes. The adjacent permanent Coke sign will have its red logo altered to rainbow colours.
The Coke sign will flash in multiple colours until the deadline for people to return their ballots expires in early November.
The sign was first erected in 1974 and became globally famous through the smash film Strictly Ballroom. In 2015, the Coke sign was completely overhauled to replace the neon tubes with LED lights that can shine in any shade.
In its statement, Coca-Cola said the company had long supported equal rights.
"Whether it was the struggle for human rights in the United States in the 1960s to a group of young people from many nations on a hilltop in Italy in the 1971, around the world we've always stood up for diversity, inclusion and equality."
The statement said they respected those who didn't share the company's view on same-sex marriage. "We hope they'll respect our right to support our staff, their family and friends, and our customers and consumers so that all can share the simple happiness of being together."
A new poll out on Tuesday provided a boost to the 'yes' side of the campaign.
The Fairfax-Ipsos survey of 1400 people showed 70 per cent of those who intended to take part in the postal survey would vote in favour of allowing gay couples to wed.
It was only on Saturday that same-sex marriage supporters were left reeling from a poll that showed a six per cent fall in support to 58 per cent.
While the new research has restored some confidence on the pro side, insiders are still concerned that what Australians tell pollsters may not reflect the final result, particularly given the postal survey is non-compulsory.
Support for same-sex marriage was in the majority across all age groups including 54 per cent of over 55s. Just over half of Coalition voters were in favour of the change with 86 per cent of Labor supporters and 96 per cent of Greens voters also in the yes column.