Contraceptive brand Durex is striking back at Unicode (which reportedly refused to implement a condom emoji keyboard) by encouraging more people to discuss safe sex using the avatars.
In the run up to World Aids Day (Thursday 1 December), the group held a worldwide poll asking the public which existing emoji should be synonymous with safe sex, the Open Umbrella with Raindrops seized the day.
The drive, conducted in response to research claiming that that almost half of 16-35 year olds felt that HIV is not something that could ever affect them (despite the fact that 2.1m people caught the virus in 2016), looked to build the brand in the health and wellbeing category and cement the dangers of unprotected sex.
Volker Sydow, Durex global category director, said: “At Durex we believe that for this World Aids Day identifying the unofficial safe sex emoji is an important step that helps to empower young people to put safe sex back on the agenda, supporting the fight to reduce the spread of HIV and AIDS. We are asking people to show their support for the cause by using this unofficial safe sex emoji and sharing the hashtag #CondomEmoji.”
The International Planned Parenthood Association (IPPF) supported the campaign, its director general Tewodros Melesse added: “Safe sex awareness continues to be an important global challenge. We support Durex’s campaign in helping make young people think about protection. On World Aids Day we will be backing this effort to help raise awarness of the risks associated with unprotected sex.”