Amid U.S. Marketing Push, Avon Hires Horizon Media as AOR

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Avon has hired Horizon Media as agency-of-record for offline media and activation in the U.S., a move that comes after the beauty brand separated from its global parent in March and became a privately held company in North America.

The North American business, which is now majority-owned by Cerberus Capital Management, operates under the name New Avon, but is still known as Avon to consumers and representatives, said Matt Harker, VP-marketing for the company.

Mr. Harker said the brand is investing "significantly" more in marketing next year, especially in offline media and digital. He declined to provide further financial information, but said Cerberus, which invested $435 million in Avon, is focused on amplifying the brand in North America.

Horizon was awarded the business following a competitive review. Avon has not had an incumbent for offline media in North America in a number of years, said Mr. Harker, adding that Mediavest has worked on offline media for the company in international markets.

In addition to Horizon, Avon recently hired Terri & Sandy as its creative agency partner. Horizon and Terri & Sandy recently worked together on Avon's new "This is Boss Life" campaign, which launched two weeks ago across national TV, local broadcast, print and radio, such as BET, OWN, Bravo, local CBS and NBC, People, Redbook, Better Homes & Gardens, DJ Chatter and more.

Mr. Harker said Horizon's ability to help Avon figure out "the power of segmentation" and who to target with its new campaign is really powerful because the brand is looking to reach future entrepreneurs, so it needs to understand the behavior and psychographics of that audience.

"The campaign is about the flexibility and freedom that people are seeking in this job economy that you can get when you become an Avon representative," said Mr. Harker. "There's nothing more beautiful than succeeding on your own terms."

In addition to Horizon and Terri & Sandy, New Avon worked with SocialCode on social media; London-based The Media Image for digital SEM and programmatic; and Pixability on YouTube. On the PR side, Tractenberg & Co. handles earned media around beauty, such as beauty influencer engagement, while Finn Partners is helping to tell the story about Avon's women and men who have an impact on their communities, said Mr. Harker.

Avon will continue to push out its "Boss Life" initiative over the next few months, but Mr. Harker said the company will also launch more campaigns in 2017.

In April, former Procter & Gamble marketing executive J. Scott White joined New Avon as CEO. Most recently he served as president of international nutrition for Abbott Laboratories, but before that he held roles throughout his 15 years at P&G including marketing director of global hair care, marketing director of Mexico and Central America and marketing director of Latin America Hair Care.

Last year, New Avon, which has about 400,000 independent sales representatives across the U.S. Puerto Rico and Canada, earned more than $1 billion in revenue, according to a company statement.