Avon Lady Wears Prada

Beauty conglom retains CAA for youth play

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%%STORYIMAGE_RIGHT%% As Avon Products launches its new youth-driven Mark this Fall, it is dealing itself into the entertainment space and has retained Creative Artists Agency as its partner to incubate programs.

Under the aegis of Avon Future, the direct-selling cosmetics conglomerate is committed to establishing the Mark brand as an attitudinal play encompassing youth, exuberance, and spunk. As with the traditional Avon product lines, Mark will be distributed by a legion of sales associates, who will in effect be CEOs of their own beauty businesses.

"The entertainment space is of huge interest. They are the tools that [young women] use to live their lives, which are also the tools they're going to use to sell Mark," said Deborah Fine, president of Avon Future. "We call the concept of selling Mark 'social beauty.' That's how young women connect." While Fine said a broad swath of women from "16 to 166" could be Mark customers, it's apparent that the 16-24 year-old segment is the core audience.

%%PULLQUOTE_LEFT%% There was no formal review for Mark's entertainment account as Fine was led to CAA by reputation and the recommendation of colleagues in the industry. Neither Fine nor Seth Matlins, brand agent at CAA Marketing, would disclose the terms of the deal. Together, Fine and Matlins are exploring the gamut of entertainment platforms including TV, film, music, and video gaming.

"Social beauty is girls night in [or] friends going out for dinner and talking about make-up and clothes. Seth and his team really understand that and what it could be in an [entertainment sense]," said Fine.

One of the linchpins of the launch program will be a magalog called Meetmark that will be delivered to at least 13 million young women every six weeks, featuring the Mark products, trends and inspirational lifestyle stories.

And with Hollywood increasingly looking towards Madison Avenue for marketing support, Matlins pointed to Meetmark as a potent "direct marketing vehicle" for entertainment brands. "What Mark provides is an unrivalled, unfettered, eyeball aggregator as well as passion aggregator."

Mark is being launched in the aftermath of Avon's brief, aborted effort a few years ago to establish the teen-targeted ColorTrend brand here in the U.S. (the brand still exists in international markets).

Avon is a leading direct seller of beauty products globally, with $6.2 billion in annual revenues. Avon markets to women in 143 countries through 3.9 million independent sales representatives.

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