Journalist Lucy Pawle thought she had an exclusive when she spotted what looked like the black-and-white flag of the Islamic State being waved by a man at a gay pride parade in London.
Within hours, the assignment editor for CNN International was being mercilessly trolled on social media after it emerged that the “flag” was a banner for sex toys.
Pawle took several photographs of a man attired in black and white who was carrying the banner after she spotted it on London’s Regent Street on Saturday and even informed the police and the organisers of the parade.
Appearing on television, Pawle said: “This man dressed in black and white was waving what appears to be a very bad mimicry but a very clear attempt to mimic the ISIS flag, the black and white flag with the distinctive lettering."
“If you look at the flag closely it's clearly not Arabic, in fact it looks like it could be gobbledygook, but it's very distinctively the ISIS flag. Anyway I seem to be the only person who has spotted this.”
Watch: CNN editor reporting on the banner that she mistook for an IS flag.
Within a short while, eagle eyed viewers noticed that the banner in Pawle’s photo featured a range of sex toys in various sizes and she became the subject of jokes on Twitter and Facebook.
Though Pawle initially tweeted that she had “reported no such thing”, she later gamely retweeted some posts poking fun at her.