Cindy Gallop strikes me as quite an interesting lady.
MakeLoveNotPorn is one string to her bow; advertising another. This is, clearly, one of the grande dames of the New York advertising scene; a transplanted Brit who became the US’ ‘Advertising Woman of the Year’ by 2004 courtesy of her success at BBH (New York).
Little wonder, flicking through the cv, that The Guardian would be interested in her views for their forthcoming Changing Advertising Summit 2012.
I imagine she must have bumped into my old mate Dents at some stage. Them both being in New York.
She ‘likes to blow things up’; she’s ‘the Michael Bay of business’. Seeking to be a transformer of an industry… Or a mind-set.
Last week she sketched out a few of her thoughts before said Summit. It made for a fascinating read – particularly for those of us who believe the world is, indeed, turning upside down and that the traditional, ‘top-down’ advertising networks aren’t fit for purpose.
Certainly not in local – a space that Eric Schmidt, for one, thinks that the world is head.
But, anyway, back to the inimitable Ms Gallop. With an ‘O’.
Her view - about to be delivered to The Guardian’s Changing Advertising Summit?
‘Too many people, including the ad industry, believe the future is something that happens and just rolls them over in it’s wake.
‘What’s around us currently is the death of the old top-down model of making things happen through hierarchies, organisations and institutions, and the growth of the bottom-up model – collaborative people power and collective action.’
Which is a good line. Rings a bell.
This one is good, too.
‘Client companies and advertising agencies are old world order places. The systems and processes and structures come from a time when you shot the TV commercial, then you did the print ads, then you did everything else – including the website. Everything has changed but the systems haven’t…’
It chimes with much of what another of New York’s finest has to say re complex business models – how, for example, a ‘top-down’ ad network ever allows a Leeds car dealership to place an ad themselves on a popular Leeds website is all-too complex.
The ‘old world order’ that Ms Gallop once bestrode is now caught with the wrong systems, in the wrong places, for the wrong market-place. And if they can’t see that they’re wrong, then collapse looms. Complexity is no longer the name of the game.
‘It’s tempting, at least for the people benefitting from the old complexity, to imagine that if things used to be complex, and they’re going to be complex, then everything can just stay complex in the meantime. That’s not how it works, however…’ writes Mr Shirky.
But two more points leap out of Ms Gallop’s thinking. One is the ‘collaborative’ aspect of this new world order.
Which is why, at the heart of Addiply, lies a collaborative sales tool; one that empowers publishers to out-source their ad sales to third party sales houses – and all on an automated commission basis.
It also lies at the heart of our thinking with regard to making our API Public; as an open network, we want to collaborate with as many smart folk as we can find. It’s why we would have collaborated more with Leeds Trinity; taught the kids to sell into popular, local web platforms; to then enable the local reporters to hold local authorities to account – freed from the necessity of pursuing local ad sales at the same time.
A kind of ‘collaborative people power and collective action’ type approach.
The other line that, for me, stands out is actually walk the walk, don’t just talk the talk.
‘When I give talks like the one I’m going to give at the Changing Advertising Summit, one of the points I often make to the audience is that I’m not one of those speakers who stands in front of the audience and pontificates – everything I talk about I’m actually doing myself. I’m living it…
This week, with a fair wind, Addiply will hold true to its promise to the people of Wales and will launch in Welsh.
We will seek to collaborate across that nation as they seek an answer to the local media challenges of their time; as they look for a new world order that is free from the ’systems and processes and structures…’ of an old world order now in full retreat.
The one that could only deliver richer media advertising from the ‘top down’ into Guardian (Cardiff) and couldn’t-stroke-wouldn’t see that ‘everything has changed…’; that the old ‘hierarchies, organisations and institutions…’ are not fit for purpose; that the world has turned upside down.
It promises to be a fascinating talk delivered, presumeably, to some of the finest advertising minds within GMG.
Whether any of them will actually ever f*cking listen is, I suspect, a completely different matter. In ‘top down’ and Soho lofts they trust their fortunes lie; bottom up, collaborative ad platforms are really not their thing…