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Home » Engagement, News, Social Media News, Social Media Spotlight, Social Media Week

Social media spotlight: Durex’s flaccid condom competition highlights problem of internet pranksters

Submitted by on June 10, 2013 – 8:10 amNo Comment

Condom manufacturer Durex was forced to rethink its latest engagement strategy after a Facebook competition backfired in a bad way.

The campaign, SOS Condoms, asked fans to vote for the city most in need of an ‘emergency condom delivery service’, and the city with the most votes would have delivery staff on hand to provide condoms as and where needed.

So, which city won? The thriving metropolis of London? Passionate Paris? Nope. Batman, in Turkey; an ultra-conservative Muslim city 130km from the Syrian border.

Unsurprisingly, local residents were less than impressed, with many taking the news as a direct insult to their religious and political culture.

As Batman won by over 300 votes (beating Kuala Lumpur, Singapore and Paris), many suggest the outcome is down to jokers looking for laughs in unlikely places. According to Matthew Boyle at Bloomberg News: “The contest was almost certainly decided by Internet pranksters.”

The fiasco marks a rare slipup for Durex, and has at least drawn positive attention to the brand in what is (for the rest of the world, at least) an amusing whoopsie.

Plus, at least it wasn’t personal for the company. Back in 2010 another contest was hijacked by pranksters when Justin Bieber ran a competition to determine which country he should tour next. The overwhelming response? North Korea. Ouch.


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