Planet China


When your product is innately sexual, it can sometimes prove a drawback when you are arranging promotional activities. British condom maker Durex discovered this in China this month, reckons Oriental Daily, when it promised live coverage of a product trial by 100 people. The promotional event enticed around 5 million internet users to tune in to the online stream at 9pm last Tuesday. Expecting to be titillated, they were anything but.

The webcast started with two gymnastics teachers and 50 couples in bathrobes doing group exercises for half an hour. The lovers then spent the next half hour chatting on their beds. In the final half hour the organisers gave them bananas and apples to play with. Oriental Daily says that frustrated (and frisky) viewers hung on – tedious though the viewing was – assuming that a more X-rated conclusion would soon materialise. However, when the couples got beneath the sheets, they just lay motionless for a few moments before a puff of smoke ended the webcast. Furious netizens rushed to Durex’s weibo to post criticism about being cheated. Durex now has 45% of the Chinese market but one widely forwarded comment will worry the company most: a loyal user said he felt fooled and henceforth he would switch brands for his own nocturnal activities.

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