Durex® calls for creation of the world's first official safe sex emojis

Use #CondomEmoji to Support the Cause

MISSISSAUGA, ON, Nov. 18, 2015 /CNW/ - In the weeks ahead of World AIDS Day 2015 – Durex®, a leading global sexual well-being brand, has launched a worldwide campaign calling for the creation of the world's first official safe sex condom emojis.

Emojis are an essential element of communication between young couples today. Research commissioned by Durex* reveals that emojis play a vital role in young people's conversations around sex, as well a concerning rise in apathy towards engaging in safer sexual practices:

  • 80% of 18-25 year olds find it easier to express themselves using emojis and more than half of respondents regularly use emojis when discussing sex
  • 84% of 18-25 year olds said they feel more comfortable talking about sex using emojis
  • More than one-third of 18-25 year olds claim not to care about safe sex and nearly half think that HIV will never affect them or their friends**  

"In light of this research, we're asking Canadians to use and share the hashtag #CondomEmoji to represent their support of the creation of the world's first official safe sex emojis by the Unicode Consortium," says Lama Mansour, Brand Manager, Durex Canada. "Emojis of this sort will enable young people to overcome embarrassment around the discussion of safe sex, encourage conversation and raise awareness of the importance of using condoms in protecting against sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including HIV and AIDS."

"Educating young people about the importance of safer sex is critical," says Kyle Winters, VP and Chief Operating Officer at the Canadian Foundation for AIDS Research (CANFAR). "This campaign specifically addresses the youth market and does so in a clever way. Anything that encourages young people to incorporate safer sex into their lifestyles is a step in the right direction."

The social support captured by Durex will be included in the official safe sex emoji submission to the Unicode Consortium on World AIDS Day (December 1, 2015).

"Many young people have gained their sexual knowledge through their own sexual activity and searching the internet," explains Dr. Mark McCormack, Senior Lecturer in Sociology and Co-Director, Centre for Sex, Gender and Sexualities at Durham University***. "While participants generally felt able to discuss safe sex within their romantic relationships, there was more uncertainty with new or potential partners. Eighty percent welcomed the idea of the emoji to make the discussion of safe sex easier and more fun."****

Volker Sydow, Global Director Durex says: "Durex believes in happier, healthier sex lives and World AIDS Day is a significant reminder about the importance of safe sex. Looking at how influential messaging is in the development of relationships today, an official safe sex emoji is a simple and empowering step towards better protection and sexual wellbeing."  

About Durex
Durex® is a global leading sexual well-being brand worldwide. The brand not only produces condoms which exceeds global testing standards, but also offers lubricants and personal massagers. With over 80 years of experience in the bedroom, Durex is dedicated to inspiring lovers to love sex safely. That is why Durex will never stop innovating with new products that enhance the sexual experience, helping couples get closer and go further together.

For more information, go to http://www.durexcanada.com/.

About RB
RB (formerly called Reckitt Benckiser) is the world's leading consumer health and hygiene company. The company has operations in over 60 countries, with headquarters in the UK, Singapore, Dubai and Amsterdam, and sales in almost 200 countries. The company employs approximately 37,000 people worldwide.

With a purpose of delivering innovative solutions for healthier lives and happier homes, RB is in the top 20 of companies listed on the London Stock Exchange. Today it is the global No. 1 or No. 2 in the majority of its fast-growing categories, driven by an exceptional rate of innovation. Its health, hygiene and home portfolio is led by 19 global Powerbrands of Mucinex, Durex, Scholl, Lysol, MegaRed, Veet, Finish, Air Wick, French's, Nurofen, Strepsils, Gaviscon, Dettol, Harpic, Bang, Veja, Mortein, Vanish and Calgon. At the start of 2014 RB had 43% of its core revenues coming from its 2 emerging market Areas and 57% from its developed market Area; 72% of core revenues came from the health and hygiene categories of the portfolio.

Fuelled by a new breed of talent who blend intellectual curiosity with commitment to the highest quality standards, RB is set to redefine the world of consumer health and hygiene. RB people and its culture are at the heart of the company's success. They have an intense drive for achievement and a desire to outperform wherever they focus, including in sustainability where the company is targeting a 1/3 reduction in water impact, 1/3 reduction in carbon and to have 1/3 of its net revenue coming from more sustainable products by 2020. It is also the Save the Children charity's largest FMCG global partner, with a new partnership vision to radically reduce the world's second biggest killer of under-fives, diarrhea. Overall RB wants to reach 200 million people to improve their health and hygiene behavior.  

For more information visit www.rb.com.

*Source: 3GEM research on behalf of Durex –UK, October 2015

**Source: Someone Like Me, VIMN & Brand Solutions Insight with Tapestry Research, 2014

***Durham University is a research university in Durham, North East England.

**** Source: Young People's Attitudes Toward and Discussion of Safe Sex and Condom Use, 2015. Author: Dr. Mark McCormack, Senior Lecturer in Sociology and Co-Director, Centre for Sex, Gender and Sexualities at Durham University in the United Kingdom


Video with caption: "Video: Of the 35 million people living with HIV today, half don't know they have it. Show your support for happier, healthier sex with an official #CondomEmoji.". Video available at: http://stream1.newswire.ca/cgi-bin/playback.cgi?file=20151118_C6920_VIDEO_EN_547893.mp4&posterurl=http%3a%2f%2fphotos.newswire.ca%2fimages%2f20151118_C6920_PHOTO_EN_547893.jpg&order=1&jdd=20151118&cnum=C6920

Image with caption: "Of the 35 million people living with HIV today, half don't know they have it. Show your support for happier, healthier sex with an official #CondomEmoji. (CNW Group/Durex)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20151118_C6920_PHOTO_EN_547832.jpg

For further information: Annabel Lee, MAVERICK for RB, 416-640-5525 x224, annabell@wearemaverick.com

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