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Oriflame prepares to cash in on Avon's departure

DIRECT selling can be a funny proposition in Ireland, unlike for example, in the United States. On the face of it there can sometimes seem to be little appetite for such a sales method in this country.

That is not the case, however. Swedish direct-selling cosmetics firm Oriflame says it will "invest heavily" in Ireland after Avon's decision to immediately withdraw from the Republic.

The Avon ladies abruptly became a thing of the past in Ireland this week after the company unceremoniously pulled out of the country. That decision hit 10 full-time staff and 5,000 self-employed sales agents. Those agents would mostly have worked a few hours a week, but others treated the job as full time.

In contrast to Avon's struggles, Oriflame has expanded at a rate of 40pc over the past 12 months and hopes to create nearly 2,000 new jobs over the next two years, taking its "Consultant" numbers to 5,000.

The company is encouraging those affected by the Avon decision to get in touch with Oriflame.

To that end, the business is kicking off a national recruitment road show next Wednesday in Limerick and is urging anyone interested in finding supplementary or part-time work to attend.

Oriflame regional manager for Ireland Yvonne Flavin believes their success to date lies in its "comprehensive range of products".

"We have over 900 products on sale at any one time which are developed at our research and development centre in Bray. We also remain one of the truly free-to-join direct selling operations in Ireland.

"We will invest heavily through training, innovation and brand-building, thereby securing a long-term sales force increase."

Online Publishers plan €2m spend

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The Association of Online Publishers (AOP) Ireland, which counts Independent.ie among its members, says its affiliates plan to spend over €2m on developing its digital properties in 2013.

This follows a number of years of substantial investment, which has seen AOP Ireland sites establish themselves as some of the most popular in the Irish market.

Already this year, consumers have benefited from the recent launches of new sites for Independent.ie among others and there has been phenomenal growth in terms of online traffic across the AOP Ireland portfolio of digital properties.

AOP Ireland members are continuing to invest to ensure their premium quality local content is accessible on the ever widening variety of mobile platforms.

This reflects strengthening digital consumption trends in Ireland, such as the growth in mobile usage in Ireland, where there are now 2,387,125 active smartphone and tablet users, and the increase in Internet usage with an Irish person spending an average of 2.6 hours online per day.

Irish PR firm expands with Singapore base

Hume Brophy has become the first Irish PR firm in its field to expand into Asia.

The firm is opening a new base in the heart of Singapore's Central Business District.

From its Asian hub, the company hopes to "deliver communications and public relations services to international and Asian companies across the South East Asia region".

The new operation will be headed up by Dubliner Una McGirr, a former Communications director at BT Ireland.

Ms McGirr takes on the role of managing director and brings to it more than 20 years of international corporate communications expertise, specialising in strategic communications, media and investor relations and stakeholder and crisis management.

Founding partner John Hume commented: "This is an important milestone for us, and we believe we are now ideally placed to help Irish and international companies to establish a foothold across Asia while simultaneously advising Asian companies seeking a greater understanding of, and presence in Europe."

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