The agency, called Five not 10, said it will be "obsessed with simplicity".
Media relations is "at the heart of Five not 10’s offering", it stated, but the venture will also offer content creation, crisis comms, social media strategy, digital and design.
“Clients want simplicity," said Southwell. "Not simplistic ideas, or lazy thinking, but clarity of thought and singular, instantly understandable ideas. Especially in the b2b and tech fields, where we’re often trying to communicate complicated themes. We want to challenge clients to say less but achieve more. Why say something in 10 words when five will do?”
Five not 10 will operate as a virtual agency, with the option to embrace hybrid working "dictated by staff" as it expands.
Barry said: “Clients and staff expect flexibility in a post-pandemic world. We’re setting ourselves up to offer that. We’ll work where we’re needed. Location no longer matters – results do. This is particularly the case with tech clients who have long pioneered a hybrid approach with teams across the globe.”
Barry and Southwell first worked together at The Red Consultancy in 2009, then teamed up again at Berkeley Communications, where Barry became UK managing director and Southwell director of strategy. More recently, Southwell worked at McCann.