Durex's condom emoji is a no go
After a long campaign by condom manufacturer Durex, it seems as though the condom emoji is not going to happen. Durex teamed up with international aids charities on World Aids Day in 2015 in a bid to promote safe sex, ultimately applying to the Unicode Consortium for a condom emoji to be added to smartphones.
The idea of the condom emoji was to help young people have honest conversations about sex after a survey by the condom giant found that 84 per cent of 16-to-25-year-olds said they felt more comfortable discussing the subject using emojis.
While the aubergine has become the main emoji used when it comes to talking about sex, charities didn't feel that this was promoting safe sex and started campaigning with Durex for a condom emoji instead. It was a popular suggestion among people around the world, with a social media campaign resulting in around 750,000 endorsements across 140 countries.
Sadly, the condom emoji didn't make it onto the Unicode Consortium's official emoji alphabet this year, a decision that Durex really didn't agree with.
The brand began trolling the ruling through social media to put across its annoyance. It announced that it would soon be releasing an aubergine flavoured condom - although this turned out to be a complete prank, much to everyone's relief - including a mockup of the packaging.
As well as imagery, the company also sent out a press release that stated: "Eggplants have long been seen as a nutritious food staple, serving as a key ingredient for dishes including Moussaka, Ratatouille and Baba ganoush.
"Durex knows there is no place for an eggplant when it comes to safe sex. It's just as questionable, in fact, as a decision not to introduce a Safe Sex Emoji to empower young people to talk about sex, safely, in a language they are comfortable with."
While Durex has taken the decision with some humour - although we aren't convinced it is going to let the issue lie - aids charities around the world have slammed the ruling.
Spokesperson for the New Zealand Aids Foundation, Joe Rich, said that big tech companies - who are members of the Consortium - are to blame. He said: "We are really wanting to call it out as a bit of a double standard. Everyone knows what people are using this technology for but Facebook and Google aren't letting us have that talk about safe sex."
The charity has now launched a petition in support of the condom emoji to try and show that there really is a need for it when it comes to promoting safe sex and discussions on the topic among young people.