Reading English at Somerville College, Oxford kindled a love affair with theater and led Cindy to begin her early career in the UK as a theater publicist, until an audience member’s observation that ‘You could sell ice to an Eskimo’ led her to make the move into advertising. She worked at Ted Bates, JWT and GGT before joining Bartle Bogle Hegarty in London in 1980 to run large global accounts such as Coca-Cola, Ray-Ban and Polaroid. In 1996 she moved to Singapore to help start up and run BBH Asia-Pacific, where she ran the Levi’s Asia-Pacific business, and in 1998 she moved to New York to start up BBH in the US, which began as Cindy in a room with a phone. Four years later, BBH New York had won clients like Johnnie Walker, Unilever and Levi’s, and was named Adweek’s Eastern Agency of the Year. In 2003 Cindy was voted Advertising Woman of the Year.
After all her success in the agency world, Cindy resigned as Chairman of BBH New York in 2005 in order to do something different. Today she continues to work in branding, marketing and business innovation as a consultant while also operating at the cutting edge of digital and the internet as a tech entrepreneur. She launched MakeLoveNotPorn at TED 2009 with this talk as an attempt to counterpoint the way in which hardcore porn has become default sex education, by encouraging an open healthy dialogue around how real people have sex.
As a highly action-oriented person, Cindy observed that the single biggest pool of untapped natural resource in this world, is good intentions – both human and corporate – that never translate into action. She launched IfWeRanTheWorld at TED 2010 as the marketing and business platform of the future, to turn human and corporate good intentions into collective action, one microaction at a time, to deliver Action Branding – you are what you do – and build your Action Graph. Harvard Business School considers IfWeRanTheWorld such a ‘unique and innovative business model’ they wrote it up and taught it as a case study in March 2011 when it was only a year old in beta.
Cindy has a significant reputation as a highly compelling and inspirational speaker at events and conferences all around the world. Cindy’s 30 years of experience in brandbuilding, marketing and entrepreneurialism, combined with a razor-sharp analytical mind, wide-ranging business experience, future-forward approach to technology, a compellingly charismatic presence and a uniquely inspirational approach, equip her perfectly to address the theme of leadership and inventing the future across a range of business sectors.
She is regularly rated and scored as the best speaker overall at the conferences where she presents.