Cicero at 20: Looking back at two decades that changed business for good

by Iain Anderson, Executive Chairman

Two decades in business. I can hardly believe I’m writing that sentence. In early 2001, we opened Cicero’s doors to the world. It’s been some journey since then.

Just months after we launched, the attacks on 9/11 changed the world forever and it seems constant change has been the theme ever since. We’ve seen the rollercoaster of at least three global economic shocks, war, multiple debt crises, six UK general elections, five Prime Ministers, four US Presidents, three referendums, Brexit, a new global trade war, a global pandemic and an ongoing digital revolution that has made all we first offered to market at Cicero seem like ancient history.

In 2001 there were no smartphones, 24 hour news was in its infancy in Europe, and the ‘long read’ was simply called a news story and was not something to be savoured when we could. Communications were slower. The industry operated on a ‘push to receive’ basis. Twenty years on it is more like a constant conversation where simply anyone can get involved.

The past two decades have changed business for good. No longer is ‘who you know’ good enough. It never had been and never should be. What you know and your expertise has become the benchmark. Social mobility, equality and diversity has changed what we do for the better. The future of our planet is rightly at the top of the agenda.

Last year was perhaps one of the most challenging years for anyone running a business due to the pandemic, but I was heartened to see the way businesses and clients quickly adapted and we continue to do so.

In many ways the past 20 years has been about making sense of the name of our business – Cicero. The Roman statesman Marcus Tullius Cicero knew great communications is about creating a great dialogue. About listening before communicating. 

That’s what makes running our business always fascinating and why I am more proud of the brilliant, dynamic team at Cicero/amo than ever before.

To all in our business, to our great clients and to the Cicero alumni out there – thank you. You share this milestone too. 

Iain Anderson

Executive Chairman