A condom shortage? Really?

Posted: August 9, 2011

One of last month’s oddest news stories concerned a dispute between leading condom brand Durex and its Indian suppliers. According to the Daily Mail Britain is now facing a shortage of condoms. Yes, gasp away.

This seems extremely unlikely, considering how many alternatives there are to Durex. Of course Durex may be facing a condom shortage but that’s nothing like as interesting a story, and it’s doubtful any headline to that effect would alarm Daily Mail readers.

Just in case anyone failed to get the message the newspaper warned: “The news has sparked fears of an increase in sexually transmitted diseases and unwanted pregnancies, as the NHS issued a statement warning of ‘disruption’ to the supply,” and it quoted sexual health expert Dr Malcolm Vandenburg as saying: “The fear is that if there is a shortage, young people will begin to have unprotected sex. Once they get used to doing this may continue not to use condoms even when the supply is back to normal.”

No doubt the smart retailers will be printing this story out and enlarging it to poster size (you can find it online at www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2018134/Britain-hit-condom-shortage-following-Durex-supplier-row.html) and positioning it by their condom displays with a ‘buy now while stocks last’ flash. I know I would.

And talking of odd stories and retail displays, those who are about to rejig the way they present their sex toys in-store might want to take into consideration their choice of colours as well as products, pricing and packaging. White is becoming the new black apparently, at least when it comes to cars leaving showrooms. The colour was a big favourite in the 1980s before it fell out of favour – around the time comedians noticed that girls who wore white stiletto heels tended to have other things in common too – but now it’s the fastest growing new car colour according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, and this is mainly attributable to Apple. The firm’s white iPhones and iPads are so bloody cool that they’ve made the colour fashionable again. Psychologists call this the halo effect, and again, I’m sure the smart retailers are already planning how to take advantage of it.

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