What Next For Avon? - Beauty - Stylist Magazine

Avon Calling

What Next For Avon?

Iconic brand through the ages

Pioneering cosmetics firm Avon, a beauty brand that bore thousands of female entrepreneurs all over the world, is in need of a makeover. The 125-year-old company has seen its profits plummet amid competition from the likes of L'Oreal and Revlon, and now perfume giant Coty has withdrawn its $10.7 billion (£6.6 billion) offer to buy its rival, a statement that sent Avon's shares spiralling 10 percent.

Coty - the brand behind Calvin Klein fragrances and celebrity scents for Madonna and Beyonce - first called on a struggling Avon in March but said this week it was pulling its offer. “Your total lack of engagement with us leads us to believe that you remain reluctant to explore a friendly, negotiated combination on a reasonable timetable,” Coty chairman Bart Becht said in a letter to Avon. “Two months is enough.”

The famous make-up firm is more than double the size of Coty but is embroiled in difficulties including laying off corporate employees and distribution problems. Despite their current issues, the firm still boasts 6.4 million independent reps worldwide, celebrity ambassadors like Reese Witherspoon, Yasmin LeBon and Alesha Dixon, and has a strong history as a trusted female friendly brand.

Click an image below to launch the gallery of Avon over the years. What do you think of Avon? Do you use or sell their products? Let us know your favourite poster or most inspirational quote on Twitter or in the comments section below.

Words: Anna Pollitt. Pictures Rex Features

  • Avon Through The Ages

    Avon Through The Ages

    Avon, originally called the California Perfume… More details

    Avon Through The Ages

    Avon Through The Ages

    Avon, originally called the California Perfume Company, was founded in 1886 - the same year as Cosmopolitan - by failed bookseller David H. McConnell, the son of Scottish-Irish immigrants.

  • Avon Through The Ages

    Avon Through The Ages

    McConnell found that his homemade rose-scented… More details

    Avon Through The Ages

    Avon Through The Ages

    McConnell found that his homemade rose-scented perfume, initially intended as a free gift to spur on book sales, was more popular than his manuscripts.

    Pictured: An Avon poster from 1945

  • Avon Through The Ages

    Avon Through The Ages

    Avon's revolutionary direct-marketing order… More details

    Avon Through The Ages

    Avon Through The Ages

    Avon's revolutionary direct-marketing order system was developed by Mrs. P.F.E. Albee in 1886. She sold the perfumes door-to-door and recruited a team of saleswomen, enabling women to earn their own money in an age of male breadwinners.

  • Avon Through The Ages

    Avon Through The Ages

    The company's first catalogue was distributed in… More details

    Avon Through The Ages

    Avon Through The Ages

    The company's first catalogue was distributed in 1896, with no illustrations. It graduated to colour in 1905.

    Pictured: Promotional material from the 1950s.

  • Avon Through The Ages

    Avon Through The Ages

    Avon's first product was the Little Dot Perfume… More details

    Avon Through The Ages

    Avon Through The Ages

    Avon's first product was the Little Dot Perfume Set but by the end of its first year in business it had nearly 20 different fragrances.

    Pictured: Avon poster, 1952.

  • Avon Through The Ages

    Avon Through The Ages

    By 1902 the company had branched out into a… More details

    Avon Through The Ages

    Avon Through The Ages

    By 1902 the company had branched out into a cosmetics, which it is now best known for.

    Pictured: "I bring beauty wherever I go ad, 1953."

  • Avon Through The Ages

    Avon Through The Ages

    In 1931, 11 Avon products were awarded the… More details

    Avon Through The Ages

    Avon Through The Ages

    In 1931, 11 Avon products were awarded the coveted Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval.

    Pictured: Avon lipstick advert, 1958.

  • Avon Through The Ages

    Avon Through The Ages

    McConnell's son took over the firm and changed… More details

    Avon Through The Ages

    Avon Through The Ages

    McConnell's son took over the firm and changed its name to Avon in 1939 in honour of Shakespeare's birthplace, Stratford-on-Avon, after being struck by its beauty on a visit to England.

    Pictured: An Elizabeth Taylor lookalike models for the brand in 1959.

  • Avon Through The Ages

    Avon Through The Ages

    McConnell Jr. celebrated the name change by… More details

    Avon Through The Ages

    Avon Through The Ages

    McConnell Jr. celebrated the name change by launching a new line comprising a toothbrush, talcum powder, and vanity set.

    Pictured: An ad showing an Avon rep in 1959.

  • Avon Through The Ages

    Avon Through The Ages

    Avon's first TV advert aired in 1954 with its… More details

    Avon Through The Ages

    Avon Through The Ages

    Avon's first TV advert aired in 1954 with its iconic "Ding Dong! Avon calling!" tagline.

    Pictured: Avon's 1959 fragrance Topaze.

  • Avon Through The Ages

    Avon Through The Ages

    It first began selling collectible novelty… More details

    Avon Through The Ages

    Avon Through The Ages

    It first began selling collectible novelty decanters in 1968 and the product flourished over the following years, featuring a range of themes such as flower and animal prints.

    Pictured: Avon boasts a range of 199 different cosmetics in 1960.

  • Avon Through The Ages

    Avon Through The Ages

    The firm even expanded into home decor and… More details

    Avon Through The Ages

    Avon Through The Ages

    The firm even expanded into home decor and fashion.

    Pictured: A Christmas ad in 1960.

  • Avon Through The Ages

    Avon Through The Ages

    In 1964 the firm joined the New York Stock… More details

    Avon Through The Ages

    Avon Through The Ages

    In 1964 the firm joined the New York Stock Exchange and started trading Avon stocks.

    Pictured: An Avon brochure cover in the 1960s.

  • Avon Through The Ages

    Avon Through The Ages

    "You in an aura of Avon fragrance",… More details

    Avon Through The Ages

    Avon Through The Ages

    "You in an aura of Avon fragrance", this 1961 poster shouts.

  • Avon Through The Ages

    Avon Through The Ages

    "Avon's new Tender Tints make the Look...the… More details

    Avon Through The Ages

    Avon Through The Ages

    "Avon's new Tender Tints make the Look...the Feeling...all Tenderness" in 1965.

  • Avon Through The Ages

    Avon Through The Ages

    "The art of being a woman - an interest you… More details

    Avon Through The Ages

    Avon Through The Ages

    "The art of being a woman - an interest you and your Avon representative share" was the message in 1967.

  • Avon Through The Ages

    Avon Through The Ages

    An Avon rep is pictured happily displaying her… More details

    Avon Through The Ages

    Avon Through The Ages

    An Avon rep is pictured happily displaying her wares in 1969.

  • Avon Through The Ages

    Avon Through The Ages

    The brand was fond of publicising the unique bond… More details

    Avon Through The Ages

    Avon Through The Ages

    The brand was fond of publicising the unique bond its reps could often establish with their customers, like in this 1969 ad.

  • Avon Through The Ages

    Avon Through The Ages

    This 1970s poster for its false eyelash range… More details

    Avon Through The Ages

    Avon Through The Ages

    This 1970s poster for its false eyelash range wouldn't look too out of place in today's market.

  • Avon Through The Ages

    Avon Through The Ages

    A romantic looking US advert in 1970 celebrated… More details

    Avon Through The Ages

    Avon Through The Ages

    A romantic looking US advert in 1970 celebrated the firm's 84 years in business, "and service to the women of America."

  • Avon Through The Ages

    Avon Through The Ages

    Looking very early Kylie Minogue in 1970. More details

    Avon Through The Ages

    Avon Through The Ages

    Looking very early Kylie Minogue in 1970.

  • Avon Through The Ages

    Avon Through The Ages

    In 1971 the firm, still a huge name in perfume… More details

    Avon Through The Ages

    Avon Through The Ages

    In 1971 the firm, still a huge name in perfume and cosmetics, began selling jewellery.

    Pictured: An ethereal 1970 Christmas ad.

  • Avon Through The Ages

    Avon Through The Ages

    By 1972 sales reached an impressive $1 billion. More details

    Avon Through The Ages

    Avon Through The Ages

    By 1972 sales reached an impressive $1 billion.

  • Avon Through The Ages

    Avon Through The Ages

    The firms launched its Sweet Honesty fragrance in… More details

    Avon Through The Ages

    Avon Through The Ages

    The firms launched its Sweet Honesty fragrance in 1973 with the tagline "Can sweetness and honesty find happiness together in a fragrance?"

  • Avon Through The Ages

    Avon Through The Ages

    In 1973 the firm reached out to under-represented… More details

    Avon Through The Ages

    Avon Through The Ages

    In 1973 the firm reached out to under-represented African-American women of all ages.

  • Avon Through The Ages

    Avon Through The Ages

    Looking fresh - and inexpensive - in 1975. More details

    Avon Through The Ages

    Avon Through The Ages

    Looking fresh - and inexpensive - in 1975.

  • Avon Through The Ages

    Avon Through The Ages

    The firm shows off its expanded range of… More details

    Avon Through The Ages

    Avon Through The Ages

    The firm shows off its expanded range of foundations to suit darker skin in 1979.

  • Avon Through The Ages

    Avon Through The Ages

    Model Marie Helvin was announced as the face of… More details

    Avon Through The Ages

    Avon Through The Ages

    Model Marie Helvin was announced as the face of the firm in 1994 - with a life-size portrait painted entirely with Avon Colour Cosmetics.

  • Avon Through The Ages

    Avon Through The Ages

    Avon was given a major boost when A-lister Reese… More details

    Avon Through The Ages

    Avon Through The Ages

    Avon was given a major boost when A-lister Reese Witherspoon signed as their new ambassador in 2007.

  • Avon Through The Ages

    Avon Through The Ages

    Another high-profile star attached to the firm is… More details

    Avon Through The Ages

    Avon Through The Ages

    Another high-profile star attached to the firm is supermodel Yasmin Le Bon, who celebrated the firm's 125th birthday last year.

Tags: beauty, make-up

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