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A box of Durex Fetherlite condoms
CountryUnited Kingdom
Introduced1915; 109 years ago (1915) (as London Rubber Company)
Previous ownersSSL International

Durex is a brand of condoms and personal lubricants owned by the British company Reckitt and currently led by Ben Wilson.[1] It was initially developed in London under the purview of the London Rubber Company and British Latex Products Ltd, where it was manufactured between 1932 and 1994.[2][3] The London Rubber Company was formed in 1915, and the Durex brand name ("Durability, reliability, and excellence") was launched in 1929, although London Rubber did not begin manufacturing own-brand condoms until 1932, in collaboration with a rubber technology student from Poland named Lucian Lundau.[2][3][4] The first book on The London Rubber Company and the history of Durex condoms, written by Jessica Borge, was published in September 2020 by McGill-Queen's University Press.[2][3]

The London Rubber Company later merged with SSL International, and has since 2010 been owned by Reckitt Benckiser. It is one of the best-selling condom brands around the world, with 30% of the global market.[5] In 2006, Durex condoms were the second-best-selling brand of condoms in the United States, with Trojan condoms being the first. It is supplied by, among others, the company Karex.[6]

In 2007 the last factory making Durex condoms in the UK stopped manufacturing and production has since moved to China, India and Thailand.[5] The modern range includes a wide variety of latex condom, including the Sheik and Ramses brands in North America,[7] and the Avanti condom. Durex also provides a range of lubricants and sex toys.

Although Durex was not an official sponsor of the Olympic Games, Durex provided 150,000 free condoms to more than 10,000 athletes that competed in the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.[8]

Market share[edit]


Although condoms are not a widely used form of contraception in China, with only around 10% of sexually active people using them, among Chinese condom users Durex has a dominant market share of 45% as of 2015.[9] Due to a relatively conservative culture surrounding sex, Durex's marketing in China is often indirect and subtle, often involving lighthearted humour.[10] Marketing is done almost exclusively on social media.[10] Durex has operated an account on the microblogging site Weibo in 2011,[11] which had 2.65 million followers and more than 20,000 posts as of 2018.[12] Durex targets Chinese users on Sina Weibo aged from 20 to 40, and primarily men under 35 years old.[13] In 2011, Durex began cross-industry advertising tie-ins with the antivirus software company Trend Micro,[14] using the common themes of "antivirus" and "security".[15]


  1. ^ Elmhirst, Sophie (27 June 2023). "'People are like, Wow!': the man trying to make condoms sexy". The Guardian. Retrieved 11 February 2024.
  2. ^ a b c Borge, Jessica (2020). Protective practices : A history of the London Rubber Company and the condom business. Foreword by Lesley A. Hall. Montreal: McGill-Queen's University Press. pp. 32–88. ISBN 978-0-2280-0333-5. OCLC 1143645992.
  3. ^ a b c "Protective Practices: The London Rubber Company and Condoms". londonrubbercompany.com. August 2020. Retrieved 9 November 2020.
  4. ^ Borge, Jessica (11 February 2021). "Durex condoms: how their teenage immigrant inventor was forgotten by history". Archived from the original on 11 February 2021. Retrieved 18 February 2021.
  5. ^ a b "New Chapter in the 81-year History of Durex". BBC News. 21 July 2010. Retrieved 17 April 2018.
  6. ^ "What's the best-selling condom in America?". By Brendan I. Koerner – Slate Magazine. 29 September 2006. Retrieved 29 September 2008.
  7. ^ "First plastic condom for men becomes available next year". 14 October 1993. Archived from the original on 18 April 2018. Retrieved 29 September 2008.
  8. ^ Boyle, Matthew. "Top Secret: Durex's Olympic Condoms" Bloomberg Businessweek Retrieved on 20 April 2012
  9. ^ "Rising penetration rate". The Economist. 30 July 2015. ISSN 0013-0613. Retrieved 18 May 2021.
  10. ^ a b Zhou, Zaiyu. "Durex Digital Marketing Decoding". Sina. Retrieved 12 March 2018.
  11. ^ Fu, Ru; Li, Xihong. "Durex's New Media Marketing Strategy Analysis". digital marketing. Archived from the original on 11 August 2021. Retrieved 12 March 2018.
  12. ^ "Sina Weibo of Durex". Sina Weibo of Durex. Retrieved 12 March 2018.
  13. ^ "Durex Consumer Insights". InfoScout. Retrieved 12 March 2018.
  14. ^ "cooperate with Durex". Trend Micro. Retrieved 13 March 2018.
  15. ^ "Durex: Digital Marketing is everywhere". S-times. Archived from the original on 13 March 2018. Retrieved 13 March 2018.

External links[edit]