Gillian Rightford

Adtherapist; buisness and strategy lead at SoloUnion
Location:South Africa


Gillian's CV is a mix of marketing, strategy, advertising, and leadership. She obtained a Business Science (Honours) degree in Marketing from UCT, worked in marketing strategy consulting, then headed into the creative world, doing account management and strategy for below and above the line agencies, before becoming co-founder and managing director of Hercules/DMB&B, and then group managing director of Lowe Bull...
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Current employment

Managing Director
Adtherapy -
Present - Cape Town


Marketing and Communications, Strategic thinking abilities, Creative & analytical thinki, Lecturing & Training, Coaching & leader ship, Brief writing, Marketing Consultant


B Bus Sci
Year completed:1986
Education level:Honours
Final year subjects:Marketing and Economics
Institution:University of Cape Town
Location:Cape Town, South Africa
#BizTrends2020: Creativity's tipping point in business

I'm going to buck the trend and not talk about anything to do with tech or mobile, or the demise of the agency model. I'm also going to be honest and say that what I'm writing about isn't a mainstream trend yet, but it should be...

By Gillian Rightford 20 Jan 2020

Asking the right questions means that you answer the right question

I read an article the other day by Tim Williams, whose wisdom I quote at least three times a week, which suggested that agencies should "Stop Filling Orders and Start Solving Problems"...

By Gillian Rightford 29 Jan 2019

#BizTrends2018: It's not on top, it's inside

The truth is that almost everything has changed in the world of marketing communication - and those that own the data, have the power...

By Gillian Rightford 2 Feb 2018

Honouring Bob Rightford: 10 lessons for agencies and marketers

With so many incredible tributes to honour Bob Rightford's life and contribution to the ad industry. I thought I'd reshare my blog post titled: "10 Lessons for agencies a marketers, from three ad veterans". It talks to his values, passions, and how he became the legend he was...

By Gillian Rightford 24 Jan 2018

#BizTrends2016: Integrate, collaborate, flatten and rebuild

There will be an increased focus on integration from a marketer's point of view which means collaboration from an agency's point of view...

By Gillian Rightford 22 Jan 2016

[2014 trends] It's all about me

To sum up what I believe we will see more of in the coming year, I look to the most eloquent Bob Garfield: "Mass is headed for a mass grave. Reach will be ever more out of reach. The future, and the present, requires aggregating individual relationships at scale. Just like, whaddya call"

By Gillian Rightford 22 Jan 2014

[2013 trends] Cheaper, better, faster

The biggest change in South Africa will be the continued growth of mobile and online, and how this affects everything we do - all of our buying habits, from deodorant to cars, and how, when and where we do it.

By Gillian Rightford 16 Jan 2013

Doctors and pop stars: lessons for ad agencies and marketers

Much has been written about the relationship between Michael Jackson and his doctor, Conrad Murray. And haven't we also been wondering whether Whitney Houston's doctor will go under the same microscope? This got me thinking about the sometimes-dysfunctional relationship that exists between marketers and ad agencies.

By Gillian Rightford 30 Mar 2012

[2012 trends] The metaphor of the Age of Aquarius

Whether this year actually brings the end of the world as we know it or not, 2012 is an interesting year from an astrological point of view. So what does this mean for our world, as we know it? Let's take a peek in the crystal ball.

By Gillian Rightford 16 Jan 2012

The great business/marketing/advertising disconnect

Ad agencies wish they were taken more seriously by the clients as business building partners. However, there's a whole lot of questioning going on in the client world that impacts this wish.

By Gillian Rightford 3 Aug 2011

[2011 trends] External movements to force creative change

I predict a whole bunch of things that I think should happen, certainly based on global trends, and on emerging South Africa trends. Of course, they may not - although ad agencies live in a creative environment that changes by the minute, the one thing they seem less able to do is change! But in some of these instances, change might well be forced by external movements.

By Gillian Rightford 14 Jan 2011

The Consumer Protection Act: best you understand it.

Hey, so I know we all talk about how important the consumer is in the business of creating advertising. But if you are an advertising/communication practitioners, have you taken the time to study this legislation, the new Consumer Protection Act, which goes live in April 2010?

By Gillian Rightford 16 Mar 2010

Caring for those client/agency relationships

Experts say that the small things eventually destroy relationships. Like not putting the lid of the toothpaste tube back on, or squeezing from the top, not the bottom.

By Gillian Rightford 1 Dec 2009

Advice for agency MDs in tough times

The usually tough job of being an agency MD is probably at its peak of toughness right now. While clients might not have cut budgets yet, you can be sure they're thinking of it. And the agency MD has to be thinking about that possibility.

By Gillian Rightford 21 May 2009

Tough times require better hit rates

In times like these there are two things that are not in that kind of abundance: money and time. Oh, and lost sales opportunities while the redesigning and refinement of strategy is taking place.

By Gillian Rightford 11 Feb 2009

ANC brand's intellectual property management

Charting the trials and tribulations of the ANC over the course of 2008 will no doubt make for a very interesting case study. Not in politics, but in brand management and on the "un-intellectual" approach to its intellectual property.

By Gillian Rightford 10 Dec 2008

If it's broke... fix it!

There's a growing trend for companies to use a pitch consultant to help them source a new ad agency. No wonder, when the average tenure of a client-ad agency relationship has decreased by almost 45% since the '80s, according to UK company Bradford Consulting.

By Gillian Rightford 24 Nov 2008

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