Avon Products, Inc, known as Avon, was founded by David H. McConnell in 1886 as a direct selling company in beauty, household, and personal care categories…..who had annual sales of $5.7 billion worldwide in 2016. It is the fifth-largest beauty company….and with 6.4 million representatives, is the second largest direct selling enterprise in the world (after Amway). As a boy in West Texas, Bone Daddy still remembers answering the door to some sweet female salesperson saying “Avon Calling”.
Traveler’s cheques were first issued on 1 January 1772 by the London Credit Exchange Company for use in 90 European cities….and in 1874, Thomas Cook was issuing ‘circular notes’ that operated in the manner of traveler’s cheques….then American Express developed a large-scale international traveler’s cheque system in 1891….which superseded the traditional letters of credit. It is still the largest issuer of traveler’s cheques today by volume….as American Express’s introduction of traveler’s cheques is traditionally attributed to employee Marcellus Flemming Berry….after company president J.C. Fargo had problems in smaller European cities obtaining funds with a letter of credit….and between the 1950’s and the 1990’s….American Express traveler’s cheques became one of the main ways that people took money on vacation for use in foreign countries without the risks associated with carrying large amounts of cash.
Karl Malden was American Express’ pitch man for many many years….for he was an American actor….who was primarily a character actor that for more than 60 years brought an intelligent intensity and a homespun authenticity to roles in theater, film and television”….especially in such classic films as A Streetcar Named Desire….for which he won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, On the Waterfront, Pollyanna and One-Eyed Jacks….who later played in high-profile Hollywood films such as Baby Doll, How the West Was Won, and Patton….as well as appearing on U.S. television as Lt. Mike Stone on the 1970’s crime drama The Streets of San Francisco….and as the spokesman for American Express…..as seen in this video herewith. Film and culture critic Charles Champlin described Malden as “an every man, but one whose range moved easily up and down the levels of society and the IQ scale, from heroes to heavies and ordinary, decent guys just trying to get along”….who at the time of his death was described as “one of the great character actors of his time”….who created a number of “powerhouse performances on screen”…..which made him a perfect pitch man for American Express. Malden was also President of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences from 1989 to 1992.