First Avon lady wants to find her lost advert

FOR a generation she was the face of a brand which revolutionised the way women buy cosmetics.

Russell Claydon

FOR a generation she was the face of a brand which revolutionised the way women buy cosmetics.

Now Faith Hines, the original Avon lady, is calling on the public to help her track down the advertisement which launched her career and an iconic range.

The Long Melford resident is affectionately remembered for the catchphrase 'Ding-dong, Avon calling', but her 60s commercial is no longer traceable in television archives.


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But now the cosmetic giant's oldest face is turning to new technology, social networking sites Facebook and Twitter, to track it down.

“I was the family breadwinner at the time and out of the blue I was invited to audition for an Avon commercial and I soon became a household name - I became 'the ding dong girl',” said the now 75-year-old great grandmother. “I became a bit of a celebrity at the time, with women waving at me in the street. I like to feel part of the Avon success since and they are part of my success.”

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The first Avon UK television advert, filmed in 1964 and aired over the next three years, became the springboard for a career in commercials which at one point made Ms Hines the highest paid model in Europe. She is also still recognised for her screen roles in advertisements for Birdseye Fish Fingers, Max Factor and cleaning products company Flash as well as going on to enjoy a run in a number of BBC and Independent TV dramas.

Of the Avon commercial, filmed when she was in her 30s, the Suffolk resident said: “It feels like only yesterday. It caused a real stir when it was brought out because women from across the country were given encouragement to find financial independence - it was a real turning point. I remember my mother was worried it promoted female empowerment!”

Now the writer and archivist researcher for television commercials, a mother of five and grandmother to 10 who moved to the county with her husband three years ago, has decided on the back of the new adverts to track down her own starring role.

She said: “The adverts airing at the moment feature six real life representatives who are a far cry from the first generation who signed up in the 1960s. But in essence the principles of being an Avon representative remain the same; it's all about women having fun, making friends and earning money.”

Her quest to retrace the footage she will be forever associated with coincides with Avon's 50 year celebrations.

Anyone who can help with the search can contact Ms Hines by her Facebook group or through following her on Twitter at http://twitter.com/FaithHines.

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