Richard Houghton, the former joint-managing director of Ketchum, is
to set up a sister agency to Firefly Communications.
The agency, to be called Carrot, will provide consumer,
business-to-business and corporate PR. Trading will begin on 1 August,
with Houghton as managing director.
No clients or staff apart from Houghton have yet been appointed, but he
said announcements were imminent. The aim is to have built the agency to
between 15 and 20 staff by the end of the year.
The agency is funded 100 per cent by Firefly which, in turn, is owned by
its five directors. Houghton will be a significant shareholder, with
Firefly holding the rest, and some equity available to staff.
Carrot will operate as an entirely separate, limited company with
separate offices and its own management, account teams and
infrastructure. However, Carrot’s staff will have access to Firefly’s
personal development and training programme.
Houghton said Carrot would be a ’new breed’ of consultancy, operating as
a meritocracy, with employees having the opportunity to own shares in
the company. ’I know from my experience just how hard it is to change
working practices in large, established consultancies. Having started
Carrot from scratch I have had the ideal opportunity to create a company
people will really enjoy working at,’ he said.
Claire Walker, managing director of Firefly said: ’We have ambitious
plans for Carrot and are targeting rapid growth over the next few