Cindy Gallop Blows Up Fishbowl

by Heather Baldock, ‘Women In Advertising’ FishBowl Creator


When the “Michael Bay of business” drops by for a day of Q&A, sparks are bound to fly.

Cindy Gallop is an explosive force to be reckoned with, a longstanding legend in advertising; let’s focus on the last decade alone. In 2009, Cindy founded MakeLoveNotPorn, a videosharing platform for genuine, sex-positive contentthe first of its kind, in fact. Its mission? To normalize the reality of sex, leading to more positive, enjoyable intimacy.

This isn’t just a smart idea: it’s a revolution. Yet the taboo around these subjects is still pervasive, despite the fact that sextech is a fast-growing billion dollar industry with women like Cindy at the helm.

When she stopped by Fishbowl this Wednesday, we learned a lot from this maverick. Over the course of the day, with one martini break, Cindy dropped knowledge on everything from mansplaining to book recommendations.


Confrontation in a man’s world

Several users chimed in with varying topics on sexism in advertising. Some specifically asked what to do when they were called too bold and assertive.

“In my book, there’s no such thing as ‘too direct’. Way too many people are too indirect, evasive, avoid the tough conversations.”




Cindy also wasn’t shy to tell it how it is. When faced with a work scenario she saw beyond help, she left these pieces of advice:




Supporting women of color

Others asked how they could help better lift up other women in the workplace.

“By supporting each other and giving out opportunities. The more of us who do that, the more it becomes the norm.”



Cindy acknowledged that we still have room to grow in terms of creating a more equitable work environment for women, particularly women of color:

We would have to go a very, very long way to be in the ‘over correction’ zone – like, oh, I don’t know, all the way back to the dawn of time. As I say here, we haven’t begun to see what this industry could be with the talent, creativity and skills of women and POC.

#MeToo isn’t over yet

Many asked about the climate of advertising following the wave of dismissals due to sexual harassment and misconduct throughout the industry. Cindy didn’t hold back in explaining that we still have a long way to go. When asked whether some of these individuals deserve a second chance, Cindy replied:

I think the more salient question is, how do we ensure second career chances for all the women forced out of the industry by sexual harassment, assault, rape, and retaliation? Watch the first 15 min of this and see why:

Cindy gave pointers on how we can make a difference by refusing to be a bystander to such behavior inside and outside the office:

I want everyone in this industry to know, in the current climate, if you break an NDA no agency or holding company is going to come after you. Do not be bound by them.

Combatting an ageist industry

Ageism was a hot topic, and being one of its biggest fighters, Cindy didn’t disappoint:

I recommend that older people – or, as I like to call us, ‘experts’ – own our age by proudly celebrating and promoting what our age means we’re brilliant at. Watch this to see what that is:

How can we combat ageism within our own ranks?

Go to your agency leadership and HR, list for them all the talents, skills and attributes that make those peers so valuable. And drive your concerns about the loss to the agency and the resultant impact on the agency’s ability to succeed; follow up with a written summary of your concerns; tell those peers you did that; and recommend hiring those peers to everyone at every other agency that you know.

Advice to a younger self

While plenty of questions asked about ageism in the industry, there were just as many inquiries from younger professionals:



And specifically on the topic of asking for your very first salary, Cindy dropped this wisdom:


Branding & Becoming A Better Agency

Cindy’s biggest source of inspiration is people: specifically those with a goal to shape the world into a better place to live in. Agencies and individuals need purpose to drive them.

However much pressure leaders are under, they still know you can’t do great work without great people.

Creativity drives everything – and should be applied a great deal more to performance marketing.

She also discussed how we can use social media for good, and how to create killer personal branding.

In Conclusion

Cindy’s Q&A dove deep into a number of subjects, with powerful, cross-generational advice and feedback. If you missed out, don’t fret; you can still view the whole bowl here). However, we would be remiss if we didn’t include one of our favorite snapshots of the day:

*Mic drop*

Gallop, out.

Looking to support MakeLoveNotPorn?

Cindy Gallop is currently looking for media partners to advertise sex positive MakeLoveNotPorn. Email her at cindy@makelovenotporn.com.

by Heather Baldock, ‘Women In Advertising’ FishBowl Creator

Site Footer