Cindy Gallop Blows S#!t Up

Let's blow shit up!

Cindy Gallop, founder and former chair of the US branch of advertising firm Bartle Bogle Hegarty, and founder of the IfWeRanTheWorld and MakeLoveNotPorn companies is not your average brand or business innovator. Cindy brings a different level of candor to every discussion, meaning she will not mix words or beat around the bushes.

A perfect The Chad & Cheese interview!

Enjoy this Symphony Talent powered The Chad and Cheese interview where Cindy talks hiring, equity, and technology for starters.


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Hide your kids! Lock the doors! You're listening to HR's most dangerous podcast. Chad Sowash and Joel Cheesman are here to punch the recruiting industry, right where it hurts! Complete with breaking news, brash opinion and loads of snark, buckle up boys and girls, it's time for the Chad and Cheese podcast.

Joel 00:00:23 Yes.

Chad 00:00:24 Time to blow shit up kids!

Joel 00:00:25 It's the Michael Bay of business, boys and girls. Let's do this!

Chad 00:00:40 Cindy Gallop. That's right today, kids. We have Cindy Gallop, founder and CEO of Make Love, Not Porn, founder and CEO. If We Ran the World, and Cindy you're on far too many advisory boards to mention, but last but not least, I mean, if, Make Love, Not Porn, wasn't eye catching enough. Your slogan is "I like to blow shit up, I am Michael Bay of Business," give it up for Gallop

Joel 00:01:03 Welcome.

Chad 00:01:04 Welcome to HR's most dangerous podcast. Let's let's blow some shit up, shall we?

Cindy Gallop 00:01:09 I'm delighted to be here and looking forward to it.

Chad 00:01:11 Excellent. Excellent. So right out of the gate, we need to hear more about Cindy Gallop, give us a little bit about your story, where you started, how did you make it here?

Joel 00:00:00 Who dis?

Chad 00:01:20 I mean, being the Michael Bay of business?

Cindy Gallop 00:01:49 By complete accident, my entire life and career has been a series of accidents. I've never planned anything. My background is 35 years working in advertising, marketing, and brand building, 16 of those for the same advertising agency, Bartle Boggle Hagerty - BBH, whom I worked in London, helped start up and run the Asia Pacific office in Singapore, back in '96. And then the reason I'm here in New York is I moved here in '98 to start up BBH has American office for them, which began as me in a room with a foam, starting an advertising agency in the world's toughest advertising marketplace. So that was one, ran the agency, BBH New York for a number of years and in 2005, struck out to work for myself and have been doing that ever since.

Joel 00:02:16 So in terms of advertising, you know, the perception of two middle aged white guys, by the way you say, if you want to own the future, don't listen to white guys. So I'm going to do as little talking as possible as I can, but the perception of advertising as sort of this mad men, old school environment, but then you think, okay, we've gotta be like beyond that by now.

Joel 00:02:46 But you have a story with Vayner Media and Thrillist, they were getting women pics before they were giving invitations to a party. What was that story about?

Cindy Gallop 00:02:49 That was several years ago at the Cannes Lions Advertising Festival that happens in the South of France every year, not this year, obviously. And, by the way, that was just one of a number of extremely sexist episodes that I called out publicly that particularly at Cannes Lions, but the instance you're referring to was that Vayner Media and Thrillist, held a party where their party organized a very ill advisedly, did a mass mailing to people at Ad Cannes basically telling women that they would need to apply with a photograph to be vetted, to be admitted to the party.

Cindy Gallop 00:03:34 And I tweeted this, pointing out that it was, I think the year was, I think this was back in 2016 and this is not how the advertising industry should work. And Gary Vaynerchuk to give him full credit, immediately apologized profusely. But, as I say, that was just one of a whole range of appalling these sexist issues with that Cannes Lions Advertising Festival And you know, and that is just the tip of the iceberg for our industry as a whole.

Cindy Gallop 00:04:09 And so I want to just pick up and clarify for your viewers, the, you know, lighthearted reference you made to what I say about white men, because, but because I want to be very accurate about that. And this is why by the way, a lot has not changed since the mad men days. So despite all of this talk about gender equality, diversity inclusion in the advertising industry. And by the way, everything I say about the advertising industry applies to every other industry. So we are not seeing change actually happen on this front.

Cindy Gallop 00:04:41 And there's a very simple reason why not, which is that at the top of the ad industry, as at the top of every other industry is a closed loop of white guys talking to white guys about other white guys. Those white guys are sitting very pretty. They have their enormous salaries, gigantic bonuses, big pools of stock options, lavish expense accounts. Why on earth would they ever want to rock the boat? Oh, Oh, they have to talk diversity They have to appoint a Chief Diversity Officer.

Cindy Gallop 00:05:13 They have to have diversity initiatives. They have to see the word diversity a lot, especially in public. Secretly deep down inside they don't want to change a thing because the system is working just fine for them as it currently is. It's like the old joke about the light bulb. How many therapists does it take to change a light bulb? Only one, but the light bulb has to really want to change.

Laughter 00:05:38 hahahaha.

Cindy Gallop 00:05:38 And in every industry the light bulb does not really want to change. That is the problem!

Joel 00:05:45 Sounds hopeless. How do we fix it?

Cindy Gallop 00:05:48 The way we fix it is what I've been saying to women, black talent, talent of color, LGBTQ talent, disabled talent for years, which is start your own industry. And what I mean by that is start your own business. But I deliberately articulated in that way because when all those of us who are other start our own businesses, we are effectively starting the industry that we would all much rather be working in.

Cindy Gallop 00:06:20 Because when you start your own business, you have the opportunity to design your own business from the ground up to work the way that you would love it to work. And when enough of us do that, and when enough of us prove that we can make a lot of money doing that, that is when the old world order in every industry goes bloody hell, "We need to do it like that too." Now this process, I'm happy to say has been this year rapidly accelerated because the pandemic and the black lives matter protests and both by the way, are global and having a global impact.

Cindy Gallop 00:07:00 They have ensured that the world will never be the same again. And that is very good news, especially for those of us who are never the status quo to begin with, because it is only when everything breaks down this utterly and completely that allows new models and new ways of doing things to emerge that never would have otherwise. And so right now there are two dynamics at play. First of all, there is the dynamic of what the pandemic and the protests are making happen as we speak the breakdown of the old world order.

Cindy Gallop 00:07:34 And then the rest of the dynamic of what I encourage everybody to do, which is what happens when we seize that opportunity and leverage this breakdown to design and invent the future that we all want to live and work in. And I'm encouraging everybody to do that right now because every one of us can.

Chad 00:07:55 So Cindy, one of the biggest issues we've seen with black and brown businesses is they can't go to banks. They have to start pretty much their businesses with cash. So they're hamstrung right out of the gate. I mean, we know society is not equal and for anybody who says it is obviously they're the ones in the ivory tower. So it is much harder to pull yourself up by the bootstraps when you don't even have boots. How can some of these Individuals actually do this? That's, that's the hard part, right?

Cindy Gallop 00:08:28 Well, I always say is that change happens from the bottom up, not the top down. For the reason I just spelled out. If we wait for institutional change, we're going to be waiting a very long time. And so what I'm delighted to see happening is, again, what I've encouraged everybody who is other, to do for years, which is, and by the way, I need to just check, am I allowed to use profanity on this pod