Advert from 1970
Beauty brand Avon is 125 years old this September. To celebrate, it has sent us this collection of its classic ads from the 1950s, 60s and 70s...
Avon was launched by US businessman David H McConnell in 1886. The brand was initially known as the California Perfume Company though was later rebranded as Avon, following a trip by McConnell to Stratford-Upon-Avon. The company has been hugely successful, and today sells products in over 100 countries through over 6.5 million independent sales reps.
At the heart of Avon's success is its door-to-door selling strategy, which allows women to set up their own businesses selling Avon products. This was a pretty revolutionary idea in the early days, offering women flexible working hours and the chance of financial independence, before they were even given the opportunity to vote. And the company continues to offer opportunities to women today, as this recent Guardian article illustrates.
As these ads amply demonstrate however, the company was always as much about femininity as feminism (if not more so). Shown here are a selection of magazine ads spanning three decades. While the core message of Avon has remained pretty much the same throughout, placing emphasis on the Avon reps, they reveal the changing fashions of the 50s, 60s, and 70s, as well as the shifting graphic and advertising styles over the period.
CR in Print
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