Condoms and surgical gloves maker SSL International today said it was pitching a revamp of its Durex brand at the younger generation in an effort to boost sales.
Having completed its second full year under a new management team, SSL is focusing on its consumer healthcare brands including Durex and Scholl foot care to drive future growth.
At the heart of this plan is a three-pronged strategy to overcome embarrassment and the taboos and innuendo associated with buying condoms.
The revamp will be aimed at 16-24 year-olds and is intended to recruit consumers as soon as they begin sexual activity.
“Advertising has to appeal to this group, even if it unsettles the older generations,” the company said in a statement.
Last year SSL’s marketing of a new Performa range of condoms attracted controversy when it promised to enhance sexual pleasure as well as simply preventing sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancy.
SSL is stretching the brand into other related categories including a personal lubricants range labelled Durex Play.
SSL is selling its medical business and industrial gloves operation as it seeks to overcome a turbulent time since its creation in 1999 from the merger of London International Group with Seton Scholl.
Sales for the year to March 31 were up 5% to £623.9m (€873.8m) while operating profits rose 52% to £82m (€114m) thanks to a combination of higher sales and cost reductions.
Chief executive Brian Buchan said: “Our objectives for the current year are no less demanding as we seek to complete our strategic reshaping simultaneously with further operational improvements.”