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ISIS chocolate business turns sour

Friday, November 07, 2014 - 02:01

Belgian chocolate maker ISIS is changing its name to Libeert after suffering from association with the acronym derived from the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. Melanie Ralph reports.

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It's not all sweetness and light at this Belgian chocolate company right now. The brand name ISIS is leaving a bad taste in the mouth of customers. The original brand name Italo Suisse was created in 1923. After deciding the name didn't really have any real association with either country they changed it to ISIS ... creating an association much worse. The owner Ignace Libeert thinks the ISIS rebrand has cost the company millions in lost business. (SOUNDBITE) (English) OWNER OF CHOCOLATE MAKER LIBEERT, IGNACE LIBEERT, SAYING: "When we saw that the orders, which were planned to get in latest beginning September for this Christmas, they didn't come in, neither from the States, neither from the U.K., so we said: 'What's going on here?' And they said yes, we have orders but the name ISIS is actually disturbing because our consumers are very upset with that name which is all abroad and therefore we had to make a decision." ISIS, of course, is also the acronym derived from Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, the jihadist group that arose in the Syrian civil war and now has invaded parts of Iraq. Changing a brand name is a long and costly process. Robert Haigh of brand Equity thinks that some other smaller businesses called ISIS might think twice about changing brand. (SOUNDBITE) (English) BRAND EQUITY, ROBERT HAIGH, SAYING: ''You have to think about the implementation of that new identity, so the visual identity is a very important process, but it is a costly and meticulous one that has to be managed often by external agencies, and that has to be rolled out in a very systematic way across the organization, and depending on the size that can run into millions and millions of pounds or dollars.'' This company makes more than 5,000 tonnes of chocolate each year, with a turnover of about 45 million dollars To attract customers back, the company has now changed its name to "Libeert", the family name of the company's owners. Hopefully now customers will be thinking more treat than terror when biting into this bar.

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ISIS chocolate business turns sour

Friday, November 07, 2014 - 02:01