A British lingerie chain store issued an apology on Friday after launching a new line of sexy underwear named after an Egyptian goddess whose name sounds like that of the terrorist group massacring its way through Syria and northern Iraq.
Ann Summers stressed that it “does not support or condone terrorism” after coming under fire this week for releasing the ‘Isis’ underwear range — which some critics said sounded too similar to the acronym of the previous name of the Islamic State jihadist group, ISIS — short for the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.
Incidentally, the skimpy bras and knickers of the brand-new line are available only in black and white, the colors of the Islamic State’s flag.
But the company was adamant in a statement that the line was actually named after the Egyptian goddess Isis, and that the similarity to the name of the terrorist group was a coincidence caused by “unfortunate timing.”
“Range names for our products are chosen far in advance of the collections landing in-stores and online. In this instance, the inspiration behind this range name was taken from the Ancient Egyptian goddess Isis,” the statement read.
“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 apologize for any offence caused.”
The Independent on Friday quoted an Ann Summers employee saying that name was decided upon six months previously — before the Islamic State (and the acronym it was previously known by) became notorious in the West.
The chain was raked over the coals this week after IS claimed to have beheaded an American journalist, James Foley, releasing a video of the act being performed by an executioner with a British accent.
But many also found the coincidence amusing, with Twitter user Alexandra Swanna quipping that “few things piss off Islamists like lacy thongs” and user Chris York tweeting, “It’s a glorious day when the Gods align and create a scenario where @ann_summers have to deny supporting terrorism.”
I rather like that Ann Summers have a range of lingerie called Isis. Few things piss off Islamists like lacy thongs.
— Alexandra Swann (@AlexandralSwann) August 22, 2014