ISIS Spokeswoman Explains Love of Nutella to New York Magazine

nutella_While this story is not directly related to PR as we know it, it is the most disturbing thing we read last week.

If you’ve watched recent reports about ISIS, the terror group currently shocking everyone around the world, you probably noticed that reporters all make sure to mention the group’s media prowess. ISIS is unique in that its spokespeople use the same social networks with which we promote clients every day to spread their hateful message.

Just over a week ago, New York magazine posted an alternately fascinating/horrifying portrait of the young women who serve as spokespeople for ISIS by filling their Twitter, tumblr and Kik accounts with LOLs, emojis…and terroristic propaganda.

These women also interact with Western press representatives — and one topic that repeatedly comes up is Nutella. Seems that many of those involved in the “movement” share images of the product (as well as pictures of their kittens and thoughts on their favorite Disney movies) in order to make themselves seem “softer” and “friendlier.”

While writing the piece, New York’s Katie Zavadski reached out to to one of these ISIS spokeswomen on the subject of Nutella.

Here’s the reply she received:

Wa alaykum. I don’t know, perhaps all the sisters who liked Nutella in the west decided to migrate to sham..? Lol, it might be true but it’s most likely due to the fact that most of us(myself included) made hijrah to sham expecting a harsh condition, when we were leaving behind are family, loved ones and loved possessions we had the mind set that we wouldn’t see the things we left behind here in sham, that it would be just the sight of war everywhere. However when we came it was far from that (in most places under dawlahs control) it was calm and peaceful, the shops were stocked with goodies such as Nutella, kinder bueno, snickers and just things we would find back home. And so I guess that’s why its so popular…. it’s a luxury we never thought we would find in this war torn country.

As we read that message while considering some of the acts committed by the group this young woman claims to represent, two things become clear: this is real and it is horrifying.

@PatrickCoffee Patrick Coffee is a senior editor for Adweek.