Courteney Cox in the ‘Spotlight’ for Avon

Friday, Dec 5, 2008

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Avon’s newest lady is Courteney Cox.

As part of the company’s strategy to continue growing its universe of celebrity and designer beauty alliances, Avon Products Inc. has announced a celebrity deal with Cox to be the face of the brand’s new women’s fragrance, Spotlight, which is set to launch in April.

“I’m happy to be a part of a company I’ve known my whole life,” said Cox, who has also been spokeswoman for the Kinerase skin care brand since March 2005. “Once I sat with them and learned more, they really blew me away with all the issues they support and the wonderful earnings opportunities they give women.”

The company signed first celebrity Derek Jeter in December 2006 to develop a men’s fragrance and skin care franchise. In more than two years, the company has signed on 10 deals. Some of these partnerships include Cynthia Rowley, Christian Lacroix, Jennifer Hudson and Patrick Dempsey, in addition to the Bond and Ironman franchises.

“As we look at our global fragrance portfolio, we wanted to diversify it from designers to celebrities and other franchises — all of which resonate with consumers in an emotional way,” said Tracy Haffner, vice president of global fragrance marketing for the direct seller. “This portfolio allows consumers to have a piece of designer and celebrity equities, and our plan is to continue growing in this way.”

Although terms of the partnership were not disclosed, Haffner said the new alliance is a “multiyear partnership.”

Industry sources estimated the fragrance could do between $10 million and $15 million in retail sales in its first year.

The April introduction will be followed by a global launch in summer via Avon’s 600,000 sales representatives in the U.S. and Spotlight is described as a “fresh, oriental scent” inspired by the anticipation and excitement that can precede a big moment, said Haffner.

“Since I’m the kind of person that’s very loyal to a fragrance, having worn the same fragrance for 10 years, it’s nice to have a new one that I’m so proud of,” said Cox.

Created by Jean-Marc Chaillan of International Flavors & Fragrances, the scent is composed of top notes of shining silver, mandarin and Italian bergamot; middle notes of white freesia, tuberose absolute, and mimosa, and bottom notes of cashmere sandalwood, vetiver and white vanilla musk. It will retail for $22.50 for 1.7 oz.

“We wanted to capitalize on everyone’s fascination with being in the spotlight,” said Haffner. “Courteney has been in the spotlight ever since Bruce Springsteen pulled her onto stage as a little girl.”

Selected sales representatives will get a “preferred preview,” where they can place early orders for Spotlight. The company predicts that about 125,000 bottles will be distributed at this time.

The new scent will also be featured on the front cover of the Avon brochure starting in April and will include a two-page spread and scented page. Global advertising will include television and print ads starting in March.

Cox is getting ready to start shooting the pilot for a new comedy called “Cougartown,” where she plays a recent divorcée in her early 40s who has a 17-year-old son.

“They haven’t cast my son yet, but it’s empowering to play someone my age,” said Cox. “I’m glad I’m not playing a mom of a two-year-old — it’s much more interesting for me to act opposite a teen so I can have serious conversations. I don’t know if I’ll be able to go back anymore now that I’m playing my true age.”

She also will appear in a film called “Bedtime Stories,” due out Dec. 25, and in the first three new episodes of Scrubs starting in January, she said.