BEIJING – A rubber company in China has begun marketing condoms under the brand names Clinton and Lewinsky, apparently seeking to exploit the White House affair that led to the impeachment of America's 42nd president.
Spokesman Liu Wenhua of the Guangzhou Rubber Group (search) said the company was handing out 100,000 free Clinton and Lewinsky condoms as part of a promotion to raise consumer awareness of its new products.
He said that after the promotion ends, the Clinton condoms will go on sale in southern China for 29.8 Yuan ($3.72) for a box of 12, while the Lewinsky model will be priced at 18.8 Yuan ($2.35) for the same quantity.
"The Clinton condom will be the top of our line," he said. "The Lewinsky condom is not quite as good."
Liu said the company had chosen to use the Clinton name because consumers viewed the former president as a responsible person, who would want to stress safe sex as an effective way to prevent the spread of the HIV virus.
"The names we chose are symbols of people who are responsible and dedicated to their jobs," he said. "I believe Bill Clinton (search) cannot be unhappy about this because he's a very generous man."
Liu said the company did not believe using the Clinton and Lewinsky names constituted a violation of copyright or other laws.
"We have received full approval from the local Industrial and Commercial Bureau to start production," he said.
Clinton has campaigned aggressively for heightened AIDS (search) awareness in China, where the disease is spreading rapidly.
In impeachment proceedings conducted by the U.S. Senate in 1999, he was acquitted on charges of perjury and obstruction of justice. The charges stemmed from denials he made about a sexual relationship he maintained with Lewinsky, a former White House intern.