Condom ringtone, ads push sales in India

NEW DELHI-A media campaign featuring a mobile phone ringtone that sings "condom condom" has pushed up sale of the contraceptive by 85 million in six months, India’s AIDS control body said Friday.

The campaign, which included television and radio advertisements, reached 150 million men, especially migrant workers who frequent sex workers.

"There are still huge problems in promoting condom usage. Sex workers tell us that men would rather pay more than use a condom," Sujatha Rao, the chief of National AIDS Control Organization (NACO), told reporters.

India has an estimated 2.5 million people living with HIV, according to the United Nations.

Health officials are targeting sales of three billion condoms annually by 2010 from the current 1.7 billion as well as the use of female condoms by improving the retail network.

"Our biggest barrier is the lack of a proper marketing network," NACO’s Rao said.

A mass media campaign produced by the BBC World Service Trust and featuring a dog called Condom was launched on Friday.

"Our previous campaign has encouraged people to start talking about the condom," said Yvonne MacPherson, India director of the BBC’s charity.

The condom ringtone was launched in August and has been downloaded by 660,000 people, the BBC charity said.

Comments are closed.