“The next big thing in tech is ‘disrupting sex'” declares Cindy Gallop, the New York-based former chair of Bartle Bogle Hegarty, who is changing the way the world looks at online pornography.
When Gallop opened her much-revered 2009 TED talk with the immortal line “cum on my face” to launch makelovenotporn.com, it was clear she meant business. Six years and a membership of 350,000 later, Gallop claims her new offering, makelovenotporn.tv – a user-generated video sharing platform that aims to make real sex socially acceptable – is turning over five figures each month, and its ‘non porn-stars’ are making four figure package payouts with the revenue sharing model.
And Gallop, who boasts on her LinkedIn profile that she “likes to blow shit up”, is looking for Australian investors to “potentially, double, triple, quadruple your return”.
In her clipped, Queen’s English she told B&T: “That’s the billion dollar financial future we’re going after. There is a huge opportunity in sex tech and we’re building a whole new category that does not currently exist. We’re not porn, we’re not amateur, Make Love, Not Porn TV is real world sex videos. And oh my God, the money there is to be made out of socially accepted sex.”
In 2014, Business Insider listed Gallop as one of the most important marketing strategy thinkers and she says her biggest obstacle trying to raise funding for Make Love, Not Porn is not just the social dynamic of what other people will think, but putting the infrastructure in place.
“My team and I are fighting a battle every single day,” she added. “We can’t get funded – I can’t find a bank anywhere in the world that will allow us to open an account because every piece of business infrastructure, any other start up that people take for granted we can’t use because the small print always says, ‘no adult content’.
“We had to build our entire video stream from scratch ourselves because online streaming won’t stream adult content. If all of those different obstacles we removed we would double our income overnight without doing anything else. Every single thing is a problem and so I am speaking publicly because the answer is to open up a dialogue, welcoming, supporting and funding the entrepreneurs who want to construct a world for the better.
Gallop claimed the first bank that says, “we will bank, honest, legal, decent adult ventures on sex tech” will clean up, adding: “Our competition isn’t porn, it’s Facebook and YouTube
“It’s not about porn for the camera, it’s about doing what you do on every other social platform which is capturing what is going on the real world in it’s funny, messy, clumsy glory. We are making real world sex and discussion around it socially acceptable and socially shareable. We’re normalising everything to do with it. And so when people talk to me and I approach it this way, nobody’s embarrassed, everybody opens up, we have amazing conversations, there are no issues.”
When the movie version of EL James’ 50 Shades of Grey was released earlier this year, it broke box office records and Gallop, who is speaking at the preview for Wired For Wonder, held in Sydney’s Commbank Innovation Lab on Friday, added, “that is the financial power of social acceptable, socially shareable sex”.
Interestingly, the second highest source of traffic to Make Love, Not Porn after the US is China and some of the highest traffic rates comes from the more sexually oppressed countries like India and Pakistan.
While in Australia, former New York Advertising Woman of the Year Gallop, also hopes to find investors and business partners for her philanthropic company, If We Ran The World (IWRTW).
Launched in 2010, IWRTW was conceived to bring together human good intentions with corporate good intentions, to activate both into shared action, against shared goals, to deliver shared and mutually accountable results.
“It’s enabling those brands and people to walk the talk,” she added, “turn intentions into actions. And I like to say that I have the best possible background for a start up that’s designed to turn good intentions into actions. “I’ve spent 30 years working in the business of getting people to do things that they have no intention of doing.”
Cindy will be a keynote speaker at Wired for Wonder in Sydney on August 26-27 and in Melbourne on August 28. See www.wiredforwonder.com for more details.