Katie Bleach

Advertising pro and hostage negotiation key player

Where elite listening intel meets advertising know-how, you’ll find Katie. Richard Mullender has described her as the ‘missing link’. The woman with the commercial clout to help you

  • identify unintentional insights
  • harness them to build a hierarchy of benefits
  • frame those benefits to produce a precision proposal that resonates with your audience.
Katie Bleach and Richard Mullender

When Katie met Richard

Katie first heard Richard speak back in 2013. She was impressed, so she googled him. Then she was less impressed. He was nowhere to be found. So, she did what any self-respecting brand storyteller would do. She asked him if he’d like to be a lot more visible and a great deal more successful. She went on to build him a story, a brand, and a heavyweight cross-channel presence.

Boy’s Clubs and tea shortages

Rewind to the 20th Century, and Katie was delighted when she landed her first copywriting role in a leading London ad agency. But on Day 1 she discovered the Creative Department was 100% male. And proud of it. Someone told her to make tea. For everyone. She suggested they get their own.

The lines were drawn.


New business wins and award-winning writing

At her first agency Katie earned her spurs producing sales-boosting work for BA, British Gas, Ford, and Peugeot. By the time she left for a Creative Director’s role, times were changing. There were powerful women across the agency, including Katie. She’d won major industry awards and gained a reputation as a business-winning presenter.

FBI and UN logos

Institute of Data and Marketing

Katie went on to set up Good Thought, winning blue-chip clients including Barclaycard, Foster Denovo, Legal & General and Pearson. She established a branding and training arm to the agency and went on to produce pioneering brand work for ExxonMobil. During this period Katie ran the Institute of Data and Marketing’s copywriting course.

The listening institute logo

An Institute for listening

In 2019 Katie and Richard Mullender established The Listening Institute. A teaching organisation with one simple mission: To teach you to listen and pitch at an elite level, so you can make better deals.

They pooled their expertise to create a unique training product
The Listening Advantage.

It was a natural fusion:

> Richard training businesses to identify unintentional insights.

> Katie coaching clients to use those insights to perfect precision pitches.

One set of skills informed the other.

Prepare your proposal

Outcome > Audience > Key Message

It’s been Katie’s mantra throughout her career in advertising, branding, and training. It’s kept her in fascinating work with a colourful range of household name clients. Her mission? To help you persuade, using three criteria

  1. OutcomeWhat will success look like?
  2. AudienceWho are you talking to?
  3. Key MessageGiven 1 and 2, what’s your proposition, in just a sentence?

Now you’ve created a 3-point brief everyone can buy into, before investing eye watering amounts of time, or money.


  • Client range

    • Financial - Katie’s worked with over 30 names in financial services from AXA to Zurich.
    • Third sector - She’s helped 25 not-for-profits from Alzheimer’s Research UK and the BFI to the TUC and WWF.
    • FMCG - The gamut, from Bounty to Tampax.
    • Retail - Spanning the A-Z of retail, from Bang & Olufsen to Zara, Katie’s pitched, won, and produced the goods.
  • Branding

    • Created the Secondsight brand for Foster Denovo. (Now a corporate adviser powerhouse, Secondsight acquired 100% of Punter Southall Aspire's employee benefits business in 2024).
    • Devised the True brand for ExxonMobil, spearheading major redevelopment of the oil giant’s Fawley plant.
    • Partnered with PwC in rebranding Norwich Union as Aviva.
  • Training

    Before founding The Listening Institute, Katie ran the Institute of Direct and Digital Marketing’s 'Introduction to Copywriting' course. Her training clients included...

    • Howden Group
    • Lloyds Banking Group
    • The Media Trust
    • New Street Consulting Group
    • Quiet Room
    • The TUC
  • Keynote speaking

    • HMRC - ‘Remarkable contribution – amazing feedback’
    • PwC - ‘Your expertise and passion left a lasting impression’
    • Alzheimer’s Society - ‘Inspiring. I was blown away by Katie’s performance’
    • ExxonMobil - ‘100% actionable. My team started using it straight away’
    • Kings College London - ‘Katie shifted a dynamic. We work together better now.’
    • BFI - ‘Great fun. We saw the familiar through a different lens.’