What was Nike thinking with its 'Black and Tan' trainers for Paddy's Day?
NIKE has caused public outcry after it unveiled a limited edition of Black and Tan runners ahead of St Patrick's Day.
It is understood that the sportswear giant had hoped to mark the date with a limited edition of two beer-themed sneakers.
One of the ranges, advertised by online sellers as the Nike SB Black and Tan Quickstripe, was named after a drink made by mixing stout and lager in a pint glass.
The President of the US-based Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform, Ciaran Staunton was left dumbfounded by the range.
"Is there no one at Nike able to Google Black and Tan?" he asked.
The other sneaker is named Nike SB Dunk High 'Guinness' after the famous stout.
Critics have remarked that the name was far from a celebration of Irish culture as it evoked the British paramilitary unit which terrorised Irish civilians during the War of Independence. The Black and Tans referred to thousands of ex-servicemen who were sent to support the Royal Irish Constabulary in the 1920s and were known for their attacks on members of the public.
Nike has yet to confirm whether the footwear, available in stores in the US from this weekend, will bear the same name as the one quoted by online sellers. Both the Black and Tan and Guinness trainers are expected to cost around $90 (€70).
Nike is not the first company to have raised hackles after using the unfortunate term without being aware of its connotations.
Ben & Jerry's had a similar row in 2006 when they brought out a Black and Tan ice-cream made from cream stout with a swirl of chocolate to recreate the effect of the drink it was named after.
The range was only available in the US, however the Vermont-based company apologised for any offence the name may have caused.