By Constantinos Psillides
COMING up with a name for a company, a band or pretty much anything is hard enough. Having said name hijacked by a group of extreme Sunni jihadists, forcing you to reconsider rebranding is downright frustrating.
When people nowadays hear the name “Isis” their mind’s eye doesn’t generate a picture of the Egyptian fertility goddess but of a group of militant extremists, named ISIS, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria; a group responsible for heinous crimes, including public beheadings and ethnic cleansing.
BBC news reported recently that a number of companies and even people were thinking of changing their name, just so others don’t think they are affiliated with the extremists; a confusion that usually leads to hate mail and abusive language.
There even exists a company named Isis in Cyprus. A representative from the Isis fertility clinic in Nicosia told the Sunday Mail that they had no plans to change the company name. “We haven’t received any threats or hateful comments. We are named after the goddess of fertility which is appropriate since we are a fertility clinic. Re-naming is not in our future,” said the representative.
Others weren’t as lucky. According to the BBC report, a US mobile payment company had to change its name to avoid confusion, while a defunct “post metal” band named Isis had to change its Facebook page to “Isis, the band” because people thought they were affiliated with the extremists. The musicians reported that people send them messages on Facebook saying that they were reluctant to wear t-shirts with the band’s name in public in fear of being associated with the militants.
High-street retailer Ann Summers had to issue an apology on September 1, following the launch of their lingerie line named after the Egyptian goddess. “We acknowledge the unfortunate timing of this product launch in our store windows, however we in no way support or condone any act of terrorism or violence. We apologise for any offence caused,” said a spokesman for Ann Summers, following a flood of comments from people pointing out the unfortunate mistake.