Avon seeks agency for Colour relaunch

LONDON - Avon is to back the relaunch of its core Avon Colour cosmetics range with a national direct campaign, and is hunting an agency to handle the brief.

The aim of the activity will be to address the brand's dramatic slump in profits and modernise its image. In April, Avon posted a 67% fall in annual profits to £31.2m, following a major restructure that included wide-scale redundancy plans.

The agency search is being led by Andy Watts, executive director of marketing for the UK, who joined the firm from Bernard Matthews in April. The company has previously worked with Lawton Communications.

The review follows the appointment of celebrity make-up artist Jillian Dempsey as its global creative director in August, who is responsible for overseeing the launch of limited-edition seasonal colour collections, due to debut in spring 2007.

Dempsey, who has worked with celebrities such as Kate Winslet and Kirsten Dunst, also has a remit to revise and modernise the brand's Colour range.

In July, Avon signed up Hollywood actress Julia Roberts as its brand spokeswoman in a deal worth a reported £2.2m. It has previously used Salma Hayek, and tennis stars Venus and Serena Williams as faces of the brand.

Avon, which was launched in 1886, has more than 160,000 representatives in the UK.

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