The Cracks in Things Let the Light Shine In

Gillian Rightford
Speaker Gillian Rightford Managing Director, Adtherapy

Gillian’s CV is a mix of marketing, advertising, and management. Her passions for business, entrepreneurship, creativity, marketing, leadership and people development all somehow come together in her portfolio of business interests. She runs Adtherapy and founded the Business Marketing Academy (more on both below) and also lectures at the University of Cape Town, in the subject of Integrated Marketing Communications (more on that below too). She is a problem solver, idea generator and a strategic thinker.

She obtained a Business Science (Honours) degree in Marketing from the University of Cape Town, worked in Marketing consulting, then headed into the creative world, doing account management, and strategy, for below and above the line agencies. She was a founding partner and then Managing Director of Hercules/DMB&B/D’Arcy, followed by being MD of Lowe Lintas Bull Calvert Pace in Johannesburg (when the Lowe group took over Lintas globally), where she later became the Group Managing Director of what was then rebranded as Lowe Bull. 

She started Adtherapy in 2007, a company that aims to help marketers optimise their advertising through skills, structure, strategy, and relationships, amongst other things. To do this she works with agencies and marketers/business leaders, helping both to deliver the best, most effective creative product in response to commercial objectives through consulting, training and mentoring. In 2016, she started the Business Marketing Academy, which builds in house marketing academies.

Gillian has recently partnered with ex colleagues, Matthew Bull and Rob McLennan, to provide strategic creative brand platforms to agencies and marketers. 

Gillian lectured Integrated Marketing Communications at the School of Management Studies at the University of Cape Town for ten years (ending 2019) and still guest lectures there and other education institutions; she also developed and ran an online programme through GetSmarter.

She is a public speaker on creative effectiveness, agency-client relationships, reputational risk and strategy and all things advertising.

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