No sniggering at the back of the class. Garry Watts has made it his business to "stop the titillation" and bring talk about sex out of the closet. Opening a factory in China he said, "I know that size shouldn’t matter, but this will be the biggest condom factory in the world."
Producing 1 billion condoms a year – the mind boggles – the factory in Qingdao will supply the foreign and domestic markets.
Sales have doubled in the past two years, albeit from a low base. Garry Watts is hoping he can play on "the Chinese consumer’s growing appetite for brands, especially those that are accessible in terms of price."
Garry Watts said that sex aids are riding a growing tide of popularity, partly a result of more liberal attitudes towards sex. Thus, the company is raising its visibility and launching groundbreaking products – a massage lotion that doubles as a lubricant, for example.
He chooses where to trial products carefully. In general, he says, "people are more similar than they are different". However, Play-O – a gel that intensifies women’s orgasms – was first distributed in France because his marketing manager convinced him that "people have longer foreplay there".
The Financial Times reports that Garry Watts says while there are "always reasons you can screw up, there is no macro reason why this company should". Quite so. And, if it does, it should wear a contraceptive.