WARL, the integrated agency, has won the Mates Condoms business without a pitch. It is not clear if there was an incumbent agency.
WARL is working on the condom maker’s strategic development, which is expected to include a campaign to differentiate it from rival Durex. It is not known if it is planning new products.
It is not the first time the brand has moved to reposition itself. Four years ago, it launched a youth brand, Xplore, that was designed to sit alongside grooming products (MW June 3, 2004). Earlier that year, it appointed Real Adventure to help move it away from the unisex market. The appointment coincided with a sub-brand called Pleasure, aimed at women.
Mates has not run any major marketing activity for about four years. In 2003, the condom company fell foul of several city planning departments and poster contractors for an illegal flyposting campaign called ishaggedhere.com (MW May 8 2003).
Mates, which was launched by Richard Branson in the eighties, is part of global latex manufacturer Ansell. According to Mintel, Durex accounts for more than £4 out of every £5 spent on condoms. Mates is one of its two closest rivals.