Avon appoints Kraft marketer to top role

Beauty giant Avon has appointed Kraft Foods president of beverages and grocery Elizabeth Smith to its newly created senior marketing position, that of executive vice-president and brand president.

Reporting to chairman and chief executive Andrea Jung, Smith will be responsible for the company’s global brand and product categories. She will also be in charge of brand and marketing activity, including brand-building, advertising and research and development.

Smith will also seek to develop alliances to exploit the Avon brand in new product and service categories. Smith has held a number of brand and marketing positions since joining Kraft Foods in 1990.

Avon is the leading direct seller of beauty products. The company is to bring M, its first catalogue for men, to the UK next year, a move that will see it depart from its core female market (MW September 30).

M has already been launched in the US. The UK launch follows the introduction of a catalogue of products aimed at younger women and teenagers, called Mark, earlier this year (MW August 16, 2001).

Avon’s net income grew by 33 per cent, year on year, in the third quarter of 2004. Sales in the group’s beauty division rose by 15 per cent globally.

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