Technology: 'Intimate massager' launched with care

A senior PRO at Philips has spoken out about the comms challenges involved in last week's launch of a range of vibrating massagers, which was a major strategic departure for the Dutch electronics firm.

Philips, best known for light bulbs and razors, brought the 'Intimate Massagers' to the UK last week.

The firm's PROs attempted to educate their target audience with carefully placed editorial - including a piece in The Times that had writer Suzi Godson trialling one of the massagers.

Deneice Clark, senior PR manager at Philips consumer lifestyle, said it was essential that the campaign recognised the sensitivity of the product. 'We had to make sure our target audience would be comfortable buying it,' she said.

Manning Selvage & Lee's corporate and consumer PR divisions have been working alongside Philips' in-house PR team on the campaign since May 2007.

The PR team kept the details of the product under wraps, but met journalists before the launch to test their attitudes. Philips approached national newspapers, including the Daily Mail and The Times, consumer magazines such as Zest and GQ, and beauty trade titles.

Philips called the product an 'intimate massager' rather a sex toy or vibrator to ensure ordinary consumers would not be intimidated.

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