Avon, the door-to-door cosmetics business, is undergoing a PR makeover
in an effort to improve its outdated image.
The firm is offering a salary of pounds 50,000 and a company car to
attract its first director of communications.
The new director’s first task will be to review Avon’s relationships
with its two PR agencies - Countrywide Porter Novelli and Clarion
Avon vice-president of UK marketing Gillian Wilmot said the chosen
candidate will head a newly merged corporate, product and internal
Job requirements include a minimum of ten years experience in a senior
public relations role, including a stint in-house, and crisis management
Wilmot stated that he or she will be ‘starting with a blank sheet’ with
Avon’s PR. One of the firm’s main objectives is to modernise its 1970s
‘Avon calling’ image.
‘We are still strongly associated with our advertising from years ago,’
Wilmot told PR Week.
‘The company has changed a lot in the last three years. The packaging
has changed, the brochure has changed and we need someone to show that,’
Countrywide has managed Avon’s product PR for brands such as Avon
Solution, Skin So Soft and Parfums Creatifs on a project basis for two
The agency recently came to the end of its contract and is waiting to
hear it is has future PR work with Avon.
Clarion Communications has worked for Avon for ten years on a ‘rolling’
contract handling corporate PR, crisis management and staff media
training. It also supports the cosmetic company’s charity work.
Avon is the world’s leading door-to-door or direct-seller of beauty
products with an annual turnover of pounds 2.8 billion.
It has over 150,000 representatives in the UK and a 14 per cent share of
the ‘mass’ cosmetic market (Nielsen).