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United in Business Member Focus: ‘ISIS’ name change divides United in Business members.

3 December 2014


United in Business Member Focus: ‘ISIS’ name change divides United in Business members.

3 December 2014

United in Business helps three members with a difficult decision

High profile coverage of the name ISIS has recently given three United in Business members a tough decision on whether to change or keep their business names.

Isis Estate Agents, Isis Property Services and Isis Business Brokers are all United in Business members that were recently faced with a tough decision due to the terrorist group Islamic State, often referred to as ‘ISIS’. The word ‘Isis’ does however have a different meaning within Oxfordshire.

The term ‘Isis’ as opposed to the acronym ‘ISIS’ has a strong association with Oxfordshire as it is the name used to describe the part of the River Thames which runs through the city north of Iffley Lock.

The decision was a long and tough one for business owner Rowan Waller of Isis Estate Agents in Oxford, who had called on national press agencies to reject the name ISIS in favour of using the term ‘Islamic State’ or ‘IS’, due to the potential damage that it could have on Oxford businesses.
 “It is easy to forget now that earlier in the year the terror group ISIS wasn’t news here in the UK,” said Rowan. “I incorporated the company on June 6th, and on June 8th they invaded Mosul and suddenly became a headline. There’s no such thing as bad publicity… unless it’s really bad, and I felt that the ISIS news stories were only going to get worse. Outside of Oxford, people thought the name was nuts, as they don’t know of the local association with the river. Within Oxford, there was some support for the name, but also negativity towards it.”

Rowan has received national press coverage due to the decision, including a recent article in The Telegraph and an appearance on BBC Radio 4’s ‘The World Tonight’. Rowan has now changed his business name to Wallers of Oxford, an estate agency that delivers a professional service with a personal touch, with selling fees of 0.5%. 

The same problem occurred for Tony Price, originally ISIS Property Services and now Director of TP Decorators Oxford. Rowan and Tony discussed their concerns through United in Business and both agreed it was the right decision to rebrand their businesses. TP Decorators Oxford are a goal-orientated decorating company, placing a high premium on flexibility, originality and dedication. Both Wallers of Oxford and TP Decorators Oxford have used United in Business to aid their business connections within the housing industry.

United in Business member Dominic Marlow also had an interesting decision to make in regards to the ISIS group. Dominic Marlow, a Senior Broker, operates under Isis Business Brokers who are part of the Sunbelt Network, the largest business brokers in the world with almost 300 offices in 13 countries. After various debates, Dominic had the decision whether to change the name of his business or to keep operating under the ISIS name.  Dominic believed the associations between the two didn’t warrant a name change and stated “I don't think the associations between the name Isis and Islamic State are that strong. The media are tending to call it Islamic State or IS more and more”. After deciding to stick with ISIS business brokers, Dominic has recently rebranded his business and has recently launched a new website

For more information on Wallers of Oxford Estate Agents please visit
For more information on TP Decorators Oxford please visit
For more information on ISIS Business Brokers please visit

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