Others have applauded him courting controversy by showing how powerful honesty can be in marketing. He did this by setting up the Enlightened Tobacco Company which sold a brand of cigarettes called Death – “the honest smoke”. While this approach guaranteed a high profile for BJ, including a great deal of discussion and debate in the media, the company hit several speed bumps along the way which essentially meant that its messages went largely unnoticed.
When a Formula One sponsorship deal fell through after the death of a driver and another company with a similar product name took Enlightened Tobacco to court, the business folded after just eight years.
As a motivational speaker, BJ Cunningham inspires and delights audiences with his off-the-wall approach to business and entrepreneurship. He also draws on his time in the slightly more conventional world of brand marketing where he had clients that included Nokia, Bang & Olufsen and Volkswagen. In addition, BJ created the Georgina Goodman luxury shoe designer company which he has since sold.
"This is the second time I have engaged BJ and he does not disappoint! His inspirational and motivational presentation was right on the button, he managed to capture the mood of the meeting and use his experience to illustrate the businesses advantage.He is an honest presenter and does not pull punches. He is down to earth and has good stories to tell which can be related to business practise. He is an inspiration and an audience pleaser, highly recommended if you need a witty, inspirational speaker for your event." - Businesslink.gov.uk
“Having BJ recount his life experiences felt like an energising spark showing you the door to your dreams saying ‘go for it.’" - Richmond Events
"You have to hear it to believe it!Really superb speaker - you're hooked and left wanting to buy him a drink to hear more.." - Double-Barrelled Ltd
"I feel the audience were captivated by BJ’s story – he was extremely interesting and inspiring." -Best Western & Consort Hotels Group
"Simply Brilliant. Stimulating, Engaging, Credible, Thought Provoking, Encouraging, Off-Piste, and Funny. Great Conference speaker." - Mechline