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Red Virgin Condoms with Love
by Jilliana Ranicar-Breese

When we see the colour colour red, the British public think of Virgin and when they see orange we think of Easyjet. The two famous brand colours.

My late magical publisher husband Martin Breese decided it was time to go into 'mainstream' publishing and was inundated with unsolicited manuscripts by wanna be published authors.

He did however purchase UK rights for American Personal Development books and in particular a book on sex entitled 'How to ask your lover to use a condom'.

It was the late 80s and women  still were embarrassed to suggest their lovers should be wearing condoms.

Martin had the unusual idea to ask Virgin to supply 1,000 condoms and he wanted to glue a red condom in a cut out window on each cover as the  cover of the soft back book was red and black.

The marketing manager agreed and a man arrived to deliver the large but lightweight boxes. I asked him if he could guess what the boxes contained. He collapsed when I told him.

My job was to sit on the floor and open all the boxes of ten. They were perforated and came in sheets of three and so I would have to cut each condom. Eventually he got a company to glue each condom onto the first page so that it showed through the window.

The book was a flop. It was banned in Ireland. Almost all the booksellers, like Waterstones, returned the books unsold because persons unknown had stolen the condoms!!!

That's a thousand hits you might say. Good publicity for Virgin and Richard!

Written at Hotel Belmondo, Chania, Crete December 2015.