German Intelligence Service to Sell Underwear | Culture| Arts, music and lifestyle reporting from Germany | DW | 29.11.2002
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German Intelligence Service to Sell Underwear

Want to wear underwear like a German spy? You’ll soon be able to - at the new German Federal Intelligence Agency shop.


For your eyes only

As part of a plan to overhaul its public image, Germany's Federal Intelligence Agency, the BND, is to start selling it’s own branded underwear in a new shop opening next year in Berlin.

The shop – part of a new visitor center on the outskirts of the German capital – will sell everything from branded biros to baseball caps and T-shirts as well as underwear.

“The FBI and CIA already sell branded goods – now we want to as well,” a BND spokesperson told DW WORLD. Chaste yet tasty

Underwear with the words “Top Secret” and “Not For Public Use” will be on sale in the BND shop as well as T-shirts with the BND logo and slogans such as “Special Agent in Action” will also be available and visitors will also be able to get their hands on top secret recipes in the BND official cookbook.

But the BND denied the articles were simply branded kitsch.

“It’s not just fun and games,” a spokesperson (who would not reveal her real name) told DW WORLD. “It’s all part of our plans to inform the public more about who we are and what we do.”

The BND – the German equivalent of the CIA and, in Britain, MI6 was founded in 1956. It’s predecessor, the Organisation Gehlen, was founded in 1947, by General Gehlen to inform the American occupying forces about activities in the former communist German Democratic Republic.

But the branded articles are not a completely new departure for the BND. The items are already on sale in the BND employees store at its head office on the outskirts of Munich.

"We've been hidden in a gray area for decades," a spokeswoman told Stern magazine. "Now that's changing."