LIG is planning to turn Durex into a global brand, standardising packaging across all markets and eventually centralising its worldwide marketing.
The company, which distributes in 130 countries, is also believed to be introducing brand extensions in the UK under the Durex brand name to stave off increasing competition in the condom market. Sources suggest it is launching its first variety pack called Select, its first flavoured condom for the retail market (it already supplies flavoured condoms to the NHS) and condoms in square foil packaging which have a longer shelf life.
Durex is planning a UK press advertising campaign which will break next month through McCann-Erickson.
The rival Mates brand already offers foil packaging and flavoured varieties.
LRC’s move follows the disclosure that Boots the Chemist is considering launching its own-label condoms (MW September 15 1995). Boots refuses to discuss its entry into the market but according to sources “plans are well advanced”. Boots has briefed a design company to produce packaging concepts but a launch date has yet to be decided.
The UK condom market was worth 122m in 1994. LRC’s Durex brand has an 83 per cent market share according to market researchers the Economist Intelligence Unit. Almost a quarter of all condom users buy at Boots.