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Vendor campaigns stimulate sexual health awareness

BY Michael Johnsen

Awareness around sexual health issues is building, and that’s thanks in large part to two venerable players in the market—Johnson & Johnson touting its K-Y line of personal lubricants and Church & Dwight promoting its prophylactic Trojan condoms.

Church & Dwight for the past year has been advocating the prevention of HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted disease through its “Evolve” campaign in support of its Trojan condoms.

The campaign, developed by the Kaplan Thaler Group, the same agency that created the campaign for Aflac, emphasizes the use of condoms out of respect for the other partner. Earlier this year, it teamed its television ad spots with a Trojan Evolve bus tour that featured a 40-foot long interactive bus and 40-foot wide IMAX-style rollercoaster ride that visited more than 80 cities and colleges from April through November.

“The United States has the worst statistics on sexual disease of any developed nation on this earth,” said C&D chairman and chief executive officer Jim Craigie during an analyst presentation last month. “When two people in this country are having sex and they don’t know each other’s health history, one of them could have a disease and the only way to stop a disease other than abstinence…is a condom,” he said.

“Three-out-of-four times, people don’t use a condom.… Three-out-of-four times, they risk getting disease,” Craigie noted, adding that Trojan possesses a 75 percent market share in the condom business.

Church & Dwight’s business in male contraceptives also is growing at a faster rate as compared with the category; the company recorded growth of 2.5 percent with $200.5 million in sales across food, drug and mass outlets (minus Wal-Mart) for the 52 weeks ended Nov. 2, according to Information Resources Inc.

Overall, the category grew by 0.6 percent to $265.2 million. Sales of enhancement devices, such as vibrating rings and personal massagers, are up 27.2 percent to $7.6 million, with Durex leading the way with a 53.3 percent dollar share of the market, while sales of personal lubricants, dominated by J&J’s K-Y family of brands, are up 8.3 percent to $129.5 million.

Earlier this year, J&J launched its K-Y Yours and Mine lubricants that emphasize increased intimacy between couples as a route to improved health and well-being. Several nationally-televised commercials feature everyday married couples overcoming life’s challenges—raising a family, a hectic work schedule—through the aid of a personal lubricant, which appears to make an appeal more to the female consumer.

And while many retailers have experimented with the dual placement of intimate health products in feminine hygiene aisles in an effort to appeal more directly to female purchasers, some Wal-Mart stores have placed the entire family planning and intimate health sections outside of the nonprescription drug areas and in stores’ beauty sectors.

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Camera scopes out perimeters of injuries

BY Jenna Duncan

ATLANTA IP2Biz announced Friday that it is developing a prototype, non-touch camera that examines wounds to compute their size at a testing facility at the Shepherd Center in Georgia.

The camera fits in the administrator’s hand and includes programming that both charts and records the area of a wound. It does not require contact with the affected area. In addition to aiding treatment, this device is being developed as a method to help provide proof of injury for insurance and damages claims.

Associate professor of applied physiology and industrial design at the Georgia Institute of Technology, Stephen Sprigle, led the development of the camera. “We designed the device to address a key and growing need in wound management,” Sprigle said in a statement. “Our goal was to provide a low-cost, easy-to-use device that used the latest technology to provide measurements of the area of the wound.”

The Shepherd Center in Atlanta is a not-for-profit hospital that provides specialized care and rehabilitation.

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BJ’s Wholesale reports results for November

BY Jenna Duncan

NATICK, Mass. BJ’s Wholesale Club reported Friday an increase in sales for November with at $783.2 million, up 5.2 percent from $744.4 million reported from November 2007. Same-store sales at BJ’s Club stores were up about 4 percent for November, including a drop in sales of gasoline of about 2 percent.

BJ’s said that its same-store merchandise club sales were up by 6.2 percent, versus guidance of 2 percent to 3 percent. The wholesale club chain said the rise was due to increases in sales of consumables and food, particularly in the fourth week, reflecting a calendar shift that included Thanksgiving.

In addition BJ’s said sales for November were up in the metropolitan New York market, but saw the lowest increase in the Southeast.

For same-store club sales, food sales reportedly were up by about 14 percent and general merchandise sales were down by about 4 percent, according to the company.

BJ’s said that its departments with the strongest sales for November included bakery, computer products, dairy, deli, frozen foods, health and beauty, meat, pet foods, prepared foods, and snacks, as well as others. The company said that areas with weaker sales included apparel, cigarettes, electronic items, TVs, toys and other areas.

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