There’s two sides to Cindy Gallop. There’s the advertising consultant that spent three decades at some of the most respected agencies in the world – including JWT, GGT and BBH – and then there’s the activist that stepped on stage at TED in 2009, and shared intimate details of her sex life with a roomful of unsuspecting conference-goers. Readers will probably know her as the former founder and chair of the US branch of BBH, or perhaps from her radically straightforward approach to Twitter, where Gallop regularly calls out issues around sexism, equality, and fair pay. As her profile says: “I like to blow shit up. I’m the Michael Bay of business.”
Others are likely familiar with MakeLoveNotPorn.tv, which was born from Gallop’s viral TED appearance. The site’s mission is to debunk some of the myths perpetuated by porn, as well as encourage people everywhere to have a more honest and open conversation about sex. It features videos of real-world couples having sex, all of which are uploaded voluntarily. As Gallop describes it, if porn is the Hollywood movie, her site is the documentary.
Here, Gallop recounts some of her stories from the glory days of the ad industry, as well as her ambitions for MakeLoveNotPorn – and the struggle she faces to keep the company afloat.