The 2021 Marketing Society Annual Lecture with CEO Gary Coombe

Streaming live from London, 24 March, 12:50pm to 2pm

Brands are a force for business growth—but can they be a force for good? When you dare to take a different stand, how do you navigate a backlash that divides your audience?

The Global CEO of Gillette Gary Coombe will give The Marketing Society 2021 Annual Lecture on Wednesday 24 March

Join us for an intimate conversation with one of the business world’s most senior leaders. Discover the story of a man who cast aside the ‘marketing golden rule’ to reshape and revitalise a century-old brand, and how he led the business through the resulting controversy.

The best a brand can be

In 2019, Gillette launched their campaign “The Best Men Can Be” with a short film that challenged sexism, bullying and toxic masculinity. The result? Within 48 hours, the ad received over 4 million views on YouTube. It trended number one on Twitter ahead of #Brexit and #Trump; it sparked a global discussion about masculinity, and a heated debate on the role of brands and businesses in modern politics and society.

But what was the story unfolding behind the scenes? As a leader, how did Gary empower his teams to step away from tradition? Gone are the days where businesses delivered a purely functional benefit; now, consumers expect their brands to play a broader role. What happens when you step up, only to step into a hyper-critical spotlight? 

The story behind the sensation

At The Marketing Society, we’re interested in the brilliant leaders behind the brands. We create comfortable spaces for leaders to share uncomfortable experiences, and offer new insights and perspectives to our members.

Our Annual Lecture is the perfect example. Gary will be interviewed by our President, Syl Saller CBE, to dive deeper into his personal story behind the marketing. The former CMO of Diageo, Syl’s illustrious career also includes six years at Gillette; she’ll bring her own perspectives on close shaves, the role of marketing and what it can achieve; in businesses, in society and across the world. 

Collaborate through our Connection Circles

This year, our Annual Lecture is more accessible than ever before. Think of it as a bitesized taste of our Conference—a chance to tune in from your sofa, wherever you are in the world—for a fraction of the price.

And just like last year’s Brave Together Conference, you’ll have the opportunity to meet fellow members for curated conversations. We want to give our members more chances to connect, so we’ll match you into groups to broaden your network and gain new perspectives.

Timings: 8.50am EDT | 12.50pm GMT | 4.50pm GST 6:20pm IST | 8.50pm SGT & HKT


Our Annual Lecture only costs £39 +VAT for members, £49 + VAT for non-members and £75 for a member and guest

Limited spaces are available for this event, so please book today to guarantee your place.


Streaming live from London