Avon UK vice-president of marketing quits

Avon’s UK vice-president of marketing, Gillian Wilmot, has left the company for personal reasons.

Avon, one of the most famous brand names in cosmetics, has replaced Wilmot with Bob Briddon, its vice-president of marketing in South Africa for Avon and an Avon veteran of 20 years. He joins the UK operation on April 6.

Wilmot, who is not believed to be moving to another job, was marketing director at the launch of the Next Directory when she worked for Next from 1987 to 1991.

She then worked for Sears for four years as head of customer relationship marketing, before joining Avon in 1995. Wilmot began her career at Marks & Spencer in 1981 as a management trainee.

When Wilmot first joined Avon she said it would take her five years to turn around Avon’s dated image.

During her time there she rationalised the product portfolio down to its core money-making areas of cosmetics, fragrances and toiletries. She also launched a press campaign (jointly created by Avon’s in-house team and the O’Connell Partnership), a new logo and a telephone ordering service.

Despite its tired image, Avon is still the country’s third largest UK cosmetics retailer behind Boots and the Body Shop – holding a 10.6 per cent market share.

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