Global cosmetics direct selling giant Avon Products has received a welcome facelift after being given the verbal all-clear from the Chinese government to recommence door-to-door selling.

China imposed a ban on direct sales in 1998, claiming it could not always distinguish between direct selling and 'pyramid sales'. Avon, whose Chinese door-to-door operation started in 1990, has since then sold its wares in hypermarkets, department stores and boutiques.

It eagerly awaits written approval from the government to carry out a test run of direct sales prior to a probable lifting of the ban, in accordance with World Trade Organisation guidelines, which could enable doorstep selling to begin again next year.

China is proving a strong market for the beauty brigade, with Avon sales up by over 60% in the second quarter of this year. According to ceo Andrea Jung, it represents the "greatest opportunity for exponential growth over the next decade."

Data sourced from: Financial Times; additional content by WARC staff