Every day I nab my Women's Wear Daily to keep up with the soap opera that is AVON's herculean struggles to re-invent itself. Coty's takeover bid was initially brushed aside with annoyance. Now it's a plausible lifeline with AVON even being so nice as to open its books to the perfume giant for perusal. But now Coty has pulled that offer off the table, fatigued by feet dragging
"Your total lack of engagement with us leads to believe that you remain reluctant to explore a friendly, negotiated combination on a reasonable timetable," the letter of retraction from Coty states.
The problem with this bid loss is that AVON may not find another golden hand to pull i to safety. Hurt hardest by lack of social media outlets and online resources for their sales associates, the brand seems out of touch and dusty and undesirable to buyers.
Plus, beauty brands established and upstart, have re-focused their ad budgets. The focus is on fresh and flirty, the way a lady wants to feel about her rouge. Case in point: today on the subway I saw a Bare Escentuals bag with "I got Matte in the Sack", a cheeky little come-hither play on words especially smart considering it's a reusable tote for the client. That's gonna be a lot of "Oh I got this free with purchase from Bare Escentuals".
In the end, it may be too late for the former skin so soft titan. AVON may be purchased or fade into the bottom drawer. Coty, which has an all star fresh and fun roster of Marc Jacobs and Chloe perfumes, Rimmel London, and a sea of celeb brands, obviously has the know how and ducats to make AVON over for the year 2012 (or catch it up at least to 2006) but you gotta strike while the curling iron's hot, honey!
To be continued, I'm sure....