Avon’s PR and communications head Kim Fernihough has resigned and
will leave the global cosmetics and fragrance company next month.
Fernihough, who is leaving to have a baby, oversees a team of six
covering corporate, consumer and internal communications.
She was brought into the company’s UK operation in March last year to
build its in-house PR team. However, Avon has decided not to replace
Instead, market research head Bridie Pollard will combine her existing
responsibilities with overseeing the PR department.
’We realise the benefits of PR and we want to continue with it,’ said
Pollard. She said the market research and PR teams could work more
closely together under one head.
Fernihough’s departure will follow that of consumer PR manager Fiona
O’Farrell six weeks ago. Avon intends to replace O’Farrell.
Pollard and Fernihough report to marketing vice-president Bob Briddon,
who took up his post in April. Pollard will continue to be one of seven
heads reporting to Briddon.
Fernihough said she was leaving because of a combination of expecting a
baby and a long journey from her home near Birmingham to Avon’s offices
’I believe it to be a great credit to the PR department that the company
believes it can survive without a person in my position,’ she said.
While at Avon, she was responsible for overseeing campaigns such as the
company’s exclusive sponsorship of this year’s Fashion Targets Breast
Cancer campaign, organised by the charity Breakthrough Breast
Avon is the world’s largest direct-seller of beauty products, and has a
sales force of 160,000 Avon ladies in the UK. The 50-year-old company
has recently broadened its product range to include fashion jewellery,
home furnishings and toys.
In 1997, pounds 500 million of the company’s sales were generated in
Europe, accounting for 16 per cent of its total income.