The British Standards Institute is launching a campaign to heighten consumer awareness of the difference between its kitemark and the CE mark, both quality guarantees for condoms. It is also considering taking the mark into Europe.
A spokesman says the BSI fears that consumers consider the CE mark as a quality guarantee. While the kitemark indicates quality, the CE mark ensures only a minimum level of compliance, as set by the European Union.
Random samples of condoms with kitemarks are tested four times a year, while a CE mark requires a test only once every five years. A source says the BSI could lose funding from condom makers if the CE mark is accepted as the only quality guarantee needed.
The kitemark is only recognised in the UK, unlike the CE mark. For this reason, the BSI is investigating European expansion.
The campaign is scheduled to begin this month. Details are still sketchy, but it is likely to include leafleting. The BSI is also considering an ad campaign to link with national condom week next spring.