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M. Bolyard prefers not to give out her full name (Mary Margaret). But she doesn't mind revealing her age: 38.

"I use Anew and I don't look a day over 30," she laughs.

Now general manager of Avon Products' personal care & skincare business, Ms. Bolyard in 1992 helped bring Anew to market when she was director of U.S. skincare.

The first of a new generation of skincare products formulated with alpha hydroxy acid, a compound that diminishes lines and other imperfections associated with aging, Anew has spawned numerous copycat products. With 1992 U.S. sales of $35 million and a projected $180 million globally for 1994, Anew also is Avon's most successful skincare launch.

Avon studied AHAs for years before striking a deal in 1990 with dermatologists Eugene Van Scott and Rue Yu. The collaboration gave Avon an exclusive on the pair's technology and a jump on the competition.

"I was immediately excited about what it could do for us and said, `this is the time to move.' We were the first with an AHA product in the U.S.," Ms. Bolyard says.

In meetings to name the new product, "The names that came up were Anew or Anew-like words. [That] is telegraphic of exactly what this product does for somebody's skin and how they feel after using it," she notes.

Anew, now a four-item line, is the cornerstone of Avon's TV and print effort from FCB/Leber Katz Partners, New York, estimated at $30 million in 1993 and $15 million in 1994.

"Advertising has made a significant difference in this brand," Ms. Bolyard says.

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