Durex to get the Cillit Bang treatment, iPhone drives record Apple sales

It’s a busy morning in the markets with Cillit Bang and Finish owner Reckitt-Benckiser agreeing to buy Durex maker SSL for £2.54bn and Apple computer announcing another set of barely credible results, with profits up by nearly 80 per cent.

Reckitts is famous for its no-nonsense and energetic marketing and Durex condoms, SSL’s main product, will be no different. Durex marketing veers from the reticent to the occasionally contentious but Reckitts can be relied upon to decide on a simple message and batter it home however many feathers are ruffled.

Reckitts’ philosophy is based on simple products consumers across the world will need more of in the future and birth control devices are therefore just like cleaners in huge population markets like China and India. Japan is another major market for Durex.

As for Apple it can apparently do no wrong, in financial terms at least. The glitches that bedevilled the launch of its iPhone 4 don’t seem to have hurt sales, combative CEO Steve Jobs reminding analysts on announcing the results that the iPhone 4 was the “most successful new product in Apple’s history.”

In the last quarter Apple’s profits rose by about a third from $1.8bn to $3.25bn on sales of $15.7bn. Sales of iPhones were up 61 per cent, Mac computers, which everyone rather overlooks these days, up by 33 per cent and there was the stunning launch of the iPad.

Just to make life a little more worrying for rivals like Microsoft, Google and Hewlett-Packard he promised more “amazing” products to come. Which may well mean yet another new super-gadget, like the iPad, in time for the Christmas market.

The one niche market Apple has struggled with is the ‘convergent’ TV market. Its iTV has failed to fly. What’s the betting on a new Apple home entertainment system?

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About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.