Ann Summers joins the Direct Selling Association (DSA) as it intensifies focus on direct sales channel

The Direct Selling Association (DSA), the UK trade body for direct-to-consumer retail, has announced that direct selling trailblazer brand Ann Summers has joined the Association, in a move which signals the company’s focus on its direct sales channel.

Existing DSA members include AVONThe Body Shop at Home and Usborne Community Partnerships, and the value of the UK direct selling channel is estimated to be £1 billion per annum, with around half a million people working as independent sales representatives. A recent report from the DSA outlined a 36% increase in the number of people joining direct selling brands in Q1 of 2023.

Susannah Schofield OBE, Director General of the Direct Selling Association, comments: “Today’s announcement is the culmination of several years of dialogue between both organisations, and I am absolutely delighted that our relationship has been formalised in this way. I look forward to working with Maria and the team as we progress through the membership onboarding process.

“Ann Summers is quite simply one of the most iconic and disruptive direct selling brands in the world, and this signifies an important moment for the industry.

“We anticipate significant growth in the direct selling channel over the coming months as more people seek to earn additional income.”

Maria Hollins, Ann Summers CEO, comments: “This is an important step in our journey to grow and protect our direct selling channel, which was forged by Jacqueline Gold CBE more than 45 years ago and continues to be an important route to market for Ann Summers.

“The DSA has shown exceptional leadership in the direct selling industry over recent years, and its ethos and approach in demanding the very highest standards of conduct by its members aligns closely with our own values. As we re-focus and grow our direct selling channel over the coming months and years, we look forward to partnering with the DSA and its members to ensure we remain at the forefront of the industry moving forwards.”

Ann Summers is famous for empowering women both ‘in the bedroom and the boardroom’ both with its lingerie and sex toy products, and its offer to allow women to earn additional income on their terms by becoming Independent Brand Ambassadors.

Ann Summers joins the DSA as a Prospective Member whilst the Full Membership audit process is carried out. For more information on the DSA’s Codes of Conduct, please visit:


About the Direct Selling Association / Direct selling in the UK:

  • The direct selling sector includes some of the UK’s best-known and most-loved brands: AVONThe Body Shop at HomeUsborne Community PartnershipsMONAT and Neal’s Yard Remedies Organics
  • Direct selling is where products are sold directly to consumers outside of a fixed retail environment. This can be via face-to-face, parties, online or catalogues. Over a third of the UK population (34%) have bought products this way.
  • It is estimated that around half a million people work as independent sales representatives in direct selling in the UK. 
  • The average monthly amount earned is £481, with the majority of people doing so on a part-time basis to fit around family commitments or another job. 
  • The Direct Selling Association’s 50 member companies’ retail sales total approximately £1 billion per annum, and include a wide range of consumer goods, from skincare, cosmetics and nutritional products to fashion lines, candles and books.
  • The Direct Selling Association (DSA) is the recognised trade body for the direct selling industry in the UK and is committed to upholding standards in the industry, and to promoting and encouraging best practice.
  • Always look for the DSA logo before choosing a company to work with – DSA member companies must adhere to strict Codes of Conduct which offer both seller and consumer greater levels of protection. 

About Ann Summers

  • Ann Summers exists to Sexually Empower Every Body.  This isn’t an overnight purpose it is something we have been relentlessly driving for 50 years.
  • Trailblazing since 1972, no other brand has had more conversations about sex, empowering generations to push boundaries and drive change. In the 80’s, we brought sex to the high street, creating female-orientated shopping environments which encourages women to talk about sexual pleasure.  Our now infamous ‘Ann Summers parties’ are a safe space for attendees to talk openly about their sex lives and have given financial independence to hundreds of thousands of ambassadors, becoming a cultural phenomenon.
  • Today our purpose is more important than ever – we’re re-defining what it means to be a woman in the 21st Century, tackling sexual inequality, improving confidence, and enhancing sexual wellness across mental and physical health challenges.  We offer advice from gynaecologists, sex therapists and cancer specialists, work with Stonewall on improving our product and experiences for LGBTQIA+ customers, have developed product with Breast Cancer Now to help women enjoy sex during and after cancer, and have joined forces with the Home Office to support their female-safety campaign Enough is Enough.
  • Think you know Ann Summers, think again!

Available collateral

  • Photographs of both spokespeople