1. WHAT WAS ONE OF THE FOREMOST RISKS YOU TOOK WHEN BUILDING THE US BRANCH OF ADVERTISING COMPANY BARTLE, BOGLE & HEGARTY?
That enough US clients would want to work with an agency that has a very strong, distinctive culture and a highly principled approach to delivering great, effective work for its clients. Fortunately there were.
2. YOUR TENACITY & BOLDNESS WITHIN THE ADVERTISING WORLD IS MORE THAN APPARENT—WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO PURSUE THIS LINE OF WORK?
The unknown lady who came up to me back in 1985 at the end of a talk I gave promoting the Everyman Theatre in Liverpool where I was working at the time and getting distinctly disillusioned with theater, and said to me, ‘Young woman, you could sell ice to the Eskimos.’
3. HAVE YOU BEEN ABLE TO SELL ICE TO THE ESKIMOS YET?
Well, I have been compared to Steve Jobs and his ability to generate a ‘reality distortion field’. However, I’m not really sure whether that’s a compliment or not.
4. HOW DID YOUR INSPIRATION FOR THE WEB PLATFORM, IFWERANTHEWORLD.COM, COME ABOUT & WHAT IS YOUR ONE MAJOR IDEA TO CHANGE THE WORLD?
As an extremely action-oriented person, I observed that the single biggest pool of untapped natural resource in the world is human good intentions that never translate into action. As a 25-year ad industry veteran, I observed that there is another equally large and untapped pool which is corporate good intentions. I decided I wanted to bring those two things together and activate them collectively into shared action against shared objectives that would produce shared and mutually ownable results. And importantly, to do it in a way that was not ‘worthy but dull’, but sexy as hell. If WeRanTheWorld.com revolves around the concept of the micro action—the real-world action equivalent, if you like, of ‘140 characters or less’. Everything can be broken down into, and everything starts, with small simple easy to do actions, which are so easy to do why wouldn’t you do them? IfWeRanTheWorld is designed to help change the world one micro action at a time.
5. HAVE YOU BEEN SHOCKED, STUNNED OR AMUSED BY THE AMOUNT OF PEOPLE THAT DO NOT DIFFERENTIATE BETWEEN THE PORN WORLD AND THE REAL WORLD, VIA YOUR SITE MAKELOVENOTPORN.COM?
Well—I’ve been fascinated, and gratified, by the quite extraordinarily positive response from many, many people—young, old, male, female, all around the world—all of whom empathize with and have experienced this themselves. Some of the emails and anecdotes I hear are at one level hilariously funny, but at another level deeply sad, in terms of the misconceptions and misunderstandings—and bad sex—that can ensue.
6. YOUR NEW YORK APARTMENT IS A PHENOMENAL ABODE, AN INTERIOR DESIGNER’S WET DREAM IF YOU WILL. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PIECE OF ART WITHIN IT?
That’s a tough one, but I think on balance Rikki Tikki Tavi—my stuffed mongoose fighting a cobra that I bought in a street market in Penang, Malaysia for twenty bucks.
7. HOW MANY KICK ASS PARTIES HAVE YOU MANAGED TO HOST AT YOUR PAD (THE FORMER CHELSEA YMCA LOCK- ER ROOM) AND WHAT WAS THE MOST OUTRAGEOUS PAR-TY MOMENT EVER?
I host one big party every year—my annual birthday party, for 200 people. And there have been a number of outrageous party moments, most of which I found out about subsequently (because quite a few of them seem to take place in the bathrooms), but as my party is for personal friends only (I don’t allow people to bring plus ones, friends or dates), I couldn’t possibly share any of those stories with you!
8. IS THE CITY OF NEW YORK AN ADVERTISER’S DREAM LOCALE?
I’m biased, but I think it’s everyone’s dream locale! New York is the true home of entrepreneurial spirit—it’s original settlers were the ultimate ‘build it and they will come’ founders!—and its energy, it’s dynamism, it’s multicultural melting pot, its amazing access to talent of every possible kind, makes it the perfect home for any business—and urban-centric individual!
QUICK RANDOM ONES
SEXIEST THING ABOUT A WOMAN?
As I am no longer a highflying highly paid advertising executive but these days an impoverished startup entrepreneur,
I’ve shed virtually all my previous extravagances—but I have to admit, I will still occasionally succumb to a really amazing pair of shoes.
FIRST CELEBRITY CRUSH?
In my youth? Oh God—David Cassidy!
CURRENT CELEBRITY CRUSH?
Jonathan Rhys Meyers.
BIGGEST VICE IN LIFE?
Well, the things most people consider vices I tend to consider virtues, so, I don’t think I have any vices.
FAVORITE DESIGNER OF ALL TIME?
COOLEST BAR IN NYC?
The Philip Johnson bar at the Four Seasons Restaurant—the ultimate place to drink martinis.