Durex began as the London Rubber Company Ltd in 1915. It sold condoms and barber supplies imported from Germany. It began producing its own condoms in 1929, which it called Durex for durability, reliability and excellence. Durex also began selling overseas, using export routes from Britain’s colonial past. The company went public in 1950. Three years later it introduced electronic testing for breakages, largely replacing the traditional water testing. Then in 1969 the company produced the world’s first anatomically shaped condom. Indeed, Durex is no longer the largest condom maker by volume. Karex, a Malaysian company, makes more than six billion condoms a year, accounting for 15 per cent of the world’s market for export. Besides presenting its own brands, it supplies condoms for free distribution by aid organisations. It even manufactures some of Durex’s condoms. By offering a branded product, Durex could be better positioned to boost condom usage than the free condoms distributed by the public sector.