NEWS: McCanns adopts sexy theme for Durex drive

McCann-Erickson is courting controversy with some of the most explicit advertising yet for Durex condoms.

McCann-Erickson is courting controversy with some of the most explicit

advertising yet for Durex condoms.

The agency admits it is risking censure with a national magazine

campaign for the Select 3 fruit-flavoured range. All the ads in the

campaign are based on the image of a hand holding a penis.

In one ad, a banana substitutes for an erect member with the banana skin

forming the ‘fingers’. In another, a strawberry is given the suggestive


The ads, which will be booked in women’s and men’s magazines as well as

youth and specialist titles, support the launch of strawberry-, banana-

and orange-flavoured condoms, with an ice-mint version to follow.

They reflect an increasingly bold approach by Durex’s manufacturer, LIG,

in the face of intensified competition within the pounds 122 million UK

condom market, in which the Durex brand name was once the generic.

But McCanns claims that while the ads, written by Chris McDonald and art

directed by Matt Statham, extend the creative boundaries, they are not


Sharon Gallacher, the agency’s account director on Durex, said: ‘This

isn’t shock advertising in the mould of Benetton, although I’m sure

we’ll get some complaints.’

She added: ‘Shown out of context, I’m sure the ads would provoke a

strong reaction. But they are not being run in magazines with an older

and more conservative readership.’

The reason for the creative approach, Gallacher said, was because the

new products were targeted at 16- to 30-year-olds. A different style

would continue to be used for other Durex products aimed at more mature


The media strategy was devised by McCanns and its media dependant,

Universal McCann, which also bought the campaign.

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