Durex cam­paigns for safe-sex emo­jis

Modern Healthcare - - OUTLIERS ASIDES & INSIDES -

While the num­ber and types of emo­jis seem to be ever-pro­lif­er­at­ing, there’s one topic that doesn’t yet have a face: safe sex.

Durex, a ma­jor brand of con­doms, lu­bri­cants and per­sonal mas­sagers, is call­ing for the in­clu­sion of con­dom emo­jis on the world’s smart­phones to en­cour­age young peo­ple to com­mu­ni­cate about safe-sex prac­tices. The com­pany, a part of global con­sumer-prod­ucts man­u­fac­turer Reckitt Benckiser Group, has de­signed an emoji for an un­wrapped con­dom and one for a wrapped con­dom.

“Emo­jis have be­come a key lan­guage used by young peo­ple across the globe when discussing sex, and yet this lan­guage does not have a way to dis­cuss or even sug­gest safe sex,” said Karen Chisholm, mar­ket­ing di­rec­tor for Durex USA. “By cre­at­ing an of­fi­cial con­dom emoji, we will em­power young peo­ple to place con­dom use and safe sex back at the heart of the sex­ual con­ver­sa­tion.”

Global re­search com­mis­sioned by Durex showed that 84% of 18- to 25-year-olds “feel more com­fort­able talk­ing about sex us­ing emo­jis.” Over one-third of the young adults sur­veyed said they don’t care about safe sex, and nearly half said they be­lieve HIV will never af­fect them or their friends. Durex is ask­ing 1 mil­lion peo­ple to use and share the hash­tag #Con­domE­moji to drum up sup­port for the cam­paign. The com­pany will in­clude that so­cial­me­dia data with the emoji pe­ti­tion it sub­mits to the Uni­code Con­sor­tium, a not-for-profit tech­nol­ogy com­pany that de­cides how text and emo­jis will be rep­re­sented in soft­ware. The sub­mis­sion will be sent on Dec. 1, World AIDS Day.

“Of course the cre­ation of a con­dom emoji will not solve the wider is­sues of ap­a­thy in young peo­ple to­ward safe sex; how­ever, it will be a pow­er­ful tool to help give young peo­ple a way to dis­cuss th­ese is­sues in a lan­guage they understand and use,” Chisholm said.

Durex wants the Uni­code Con­sor­tium

to cre­ate con­dom emo­jis. D U R E X

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