The Business Press Maven's already off-putting level of self-regard is never worse than when he can say "I told you so" even before I told you so. And so it happened this morning, before you were even awake, with beauty-product giant Avon ( AVP). The huge company is attempting to change an outdated image while also getting its messy financial house in order. That's a little like trying to turn an ocean liner on a dime, but since Avon still somehow has a good name -- or, at least, it still has a name -- I've taken a sporting interest in how chairman and CEO Andrea Jung might do. But I knew that the quarter Avon was due to report this morning would still be rife with questions, charges and a miss or two. Why? Well, the first thing I read today was what appeared to be a scoop by Women's Wear Daily. Hold off on alerting the Pulitzer committee -- the apparent scoop was that Derek Jeter had signed a splashy deal with Avon to coproduce a fragrance. (Jeter asked his mom and sister to sample, we were assured; that's how we know he had input.) Nevermind the idea of a guy who sweats in the Bronx trumpeting a perfume. The Business Press Maven has a rule: When splashy, if suspect, news is planted on the day of an anticipated earnings release, well, the earnings release itself isn't likely to be great. Sure enough: Avon soon reported results generally below expectations, and Jung was reduced in the press release to phrases like "early stages of turnaround" before transitioning into talk of a "transition year." (Editor's note: To access some of these stories, registration or a subscription may be required. Please check the individual links for the site's policy.) The Business Press Maven has noted before that investors are often misled by portrayals of female executives, which too often conform to stereotypes of infallibility or helplessness. So ignore the Ice Queen-themed piece in the current Business Week on Coca-Cola ( KO) Executive Vice-President Mary Minnick. "She's blunt, she's impatient..." bleats the subheadline. More importantly, she's essentially in charge of all aspects of new (noncarbonated) products at Coke. For the company to thrive when traditional soda is not popping, Minnick must continue to deliver in a big way. If she does, she will probably take the top spot at Coke or somewhere equally groovy. If not, well, just because a female executive is portrayed as infallible when she starts doesn't mean she can't be drawn as helpless later on.