Client: London International Group
PR Team: In-house and Hill and Knowlton
Campaign: Durex Global Sex Survey 1997
Timescale: March to November 1997
Cost: pounds 750,000
In the pre-Aids 1980s, the pill gained considerable market share, while
condoms were seen as a declining market.
In 1987 London International Group began to internationalise its
business by acquiring local brands, however its condoms were still being
sold under different names, making global PR, advertising and marketing
In 1994, the organisation decided to focus on the Durex brand and to
globalise it. LIG’s finances improved and LIG’s products now account for
around 22 per cent of the global branded condom market with sales
growing by 6.6 per cent last year.
To gain global media coverage for LIG’s second annual global sex survey
and to turn Durex into a globally recognised brand. A key aim was to
achieve quality - as well as quantitative - coverage with the Durex
brand being associated with such issues as health and sex education.
Hill and Knowlton was hired by LIG in March 1997 to co-ordinate PR for
the 1997 survey. The launch date was set for 28 October. A working group
was assembled to plan and run the campaign. Senior account director
Lucinda Ostwind headed the Hill and Knowlton team, while LIG’s team was
led by Clive Kitchener, group director of strategy, and Justine Samuel,
head of corporate affairs.
Nearly 10,000 sexually active adults between the ages of 16 and 45 were
surveyed in 14 countries. Questions included frequency of sexual
experiences, age at first sexual encounter, number of sexual partners
and length of time spend engaging in intercourse.
The London team co-ordinated the work of PR agencies in each of the 14
countries. Manning Selvage and Lee, which ran PR for the first global
survey in 1996, was used as the local agency in the US and Mexico. The
other agencies were: Health Network in the UK; Royce Communications in
Australia; GCI Communications in Canada; Shandwick in Hong Kong;
Mavellia in Italy; Health Network out of UK in Poland and Russia; Public
Relations International in South Africa; Sanchis y Asociados in Spain;
Court-Conseille in France, and Shandwick in Thailand.
A tailor-made survey of the Indian middle-class was commissioned by LIG
in India as a prelude to the launch of Durex in the sub-continent.
Hill and Knowlton produced common briefing packs for the local agencies
to ensure consistency and ensured that deadlines for the achievement of
goals were met as the campaign swung into action.
CMS was hired to produce custom-made Precis evaluation software. The
survey was translated into five languages. Embargoed for two weeks, each
country’s media pack was delivered by the local agencies. Hill and
Knowlton London handled the international press and media and set up a
The worldwide embargo held up, as planned, until the launch date. The
launch resulted in world-wide publicity in print, media and
Hill and Knowlton devoted five per cent of its budget to measuring and
evaluating how well the campaign reached its objectives. According to
Ostwind, 1,000 million people were ’impacted’ by the campaign.
Press coverage was up 46 per cent on the previous year, consumer
magazine coverage was up 50 per cent and television coverage - one of
the key objectives - rose 355 per cent. Radio coverage was about the
same as the year before.
There was a 30 per cent overall average increase in quantity and quality
of media coverage, added Ostwind.
H&K’s tailor-made evaluation system found that the global PR campaign
achieved a common communication platform in 14 countries. In addition,
it provided proof that the campaign successfully promoted the Durex
brand in widely differing cultures.
A well-researched and co-ordinated campaign raised coverage from the
frivolous to include the more serious issues of sex education and