Reckitt has brought on VaynerMedia to handle special projects for its intimate wellness brand Durex in the U.S. and U.K., according to a company spokesman. The win follows a six-month review led by consultant R3. Other agencies involved in the pitch include Mother and Havas, the latter of which remains on the roster.
In an earlier version of this story, it was reported that Vayner had won the global Durex business along with Reckitt’s KY and Queen V brands. But Reckitt, which did not return requests for comment initially, said today that the win was only for Durex and was specific to special projects rather than the full account.
The assignment, a company spokesman said, came as part of a "global pitch with a U.S. focus" that ended with Vayner winning "three specific initiatives" he declined to disclose. "Initially, we went into an exploratory phase with what to do with a new agency structure to begin with, and we focused on creative with R3," said the spokesman. "We put together an RFP document. It was never truly meant to be an AOR."
Reckitt's intimate wellness portfolio includes the Queen V and KY brands, for which the company is still exploring finding other partners, Reckitt said.
As for Vayner's Durex business, "the projects are U.S. and U.K. to begin with," said the spokesman. "They may expand out globally, but that's not confirmed yet. As most of our business is global, we're still going to be relying on our partner, Havas, and local agencies to make sure that all the regions are covered at all fronts."
Frank and funny
The work from Havas London for Durex of late has been frank and sometimes funny.
During the pandemic, Durex encouraged consumers to change casual attitudes toward condom use and become more responsible with a campaign themed "Let's not go back to normal." In May, the shop broke a spot for Durex’s branded lube that tells “the uncomfortable truth” about sex, showing scenes of a woman masturbating while talking to her cat and couples having sex in a shower and a tent. The copy is refreshingly honest with lines such as "all women can get naturally drier," "sometimes sex can feel a bit ‘meh'" and "sex with condoms can feel a bit 'oof.'"
In July, the shop put up an outdoor board in London that contained only a giant condom wrapper to celebrate “Freedom Day” when COVID restrictions ended in the U.K.