Saturday 5 February 2011

“Avon Believe World Tour” Celebrating Women’s Empowerment

When I was a kid in the Seventies, one of the "jokes" of the time (for some reason that now escapes me !) was to run around shouting "Ding Dong, Avon calling !". It seems like the company has been around forever !

Well, 125 years to be precise ! I wasn't overly surprised to learn that Avon is the world's largest direct seller, marketing to women in more than 100 countries through approximately 6.2 million independent Avon Sales Representatives, with an annual revenue of over $10 billion. However, I was surprised to discover that  Avon global philanthropy has been piling a hefty chunk of their profits into helping women all over the world.

As the company proudly explain : "The Avon Foundation for Women, the world’s largest corporate-affiliated philanthropy focused on issues that matter most to women, was founded in 1955 to improve the lives of women. Through 2010, Avon global philanthropy has donated more than $800 million in more than 50 countries for causes most important to women. Today, Avon philanthropy focuses its funding on breast cancer research and access to care through the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade, and efforts to reduce domestic and gender violence through its Speak Out Against Domestic Violence program. Avon also responds generously to provide support for relief and recovery efforts in times of major natural disasters and emergencies."

Well, it's their 125th birthday so they weren't going to let that slip by without marking the occasion ! A couple of weeks ago, Reese Witherspoon - not just an award-winning actress but also an Avon Global Ambassador - joined Avon Chairman and CEO Andrea Jung to launch the company’s 125th Anniversary year with a celebration in Atlanta, Georgia, for more than 5,000 Avon Representatives. The event was part of the 16-city “Avon Believe World Tour” which is celebrating the company’s heritage and belief in its mission to empower women.

 Throughout 2011, the tour will be visiting 16 cities across the globe, namely Atlanta, Dallas, Los Angeles, Istanbul, New York, Chicago, Mexico City, Warsaw, Moscow, Sao Paulo, Buenos Aires, Manila, Shanghai, New Delhi, Johannesburg and ... London ! Special guests such as Fergie, Patrick Dempsey, Suze Orman, Zoe Saldana and Yasmin Le Bon are expected to make appearances at many of the events.

A new $1 million Avon Global Believe Fund has also been launched, to support women’s domestic violence shelters and agencies in each of the 16 cities on the tour. In partnership with the National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV), the Avon Foundation aims to draw attention to the alarming lack of adequate services for women and children who are victims of domestic violence, as well as set up an international network of non-profit organisations to help them.

Avon CEO Andrea Jung nicely sums things up : "As the company for women, Avon feels an obligation and responsibility to play a leadership role in helping to improve the lives of women around the world, and we truly believe we can make a difference." It suddenly makes we want to start singing the 80's song, Sisters Are Doing It For Themselves ! Seriously though, I think it's great to see that such a powerful company is really putting their heart and soul into helping women all over the world who really need them. I never dreamed that there was more to Avon than makeup and beauty products so I'm pleasantly surprised.

for more information :

Or watch the video below :

Avon Launches Year-long 125th Anniversary Celebration

(sponsored - but nevertheless totally honest ! - post)

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