Bank Carat

"At least no one will call us Feather's any more" - Giles Brooksbank on Carat name change


By Stephen Lepitak, -

October 13, 2011 | 6 min read

With today’s news that Feather Brooksbank is to adopt the Carat moniker through parent company Aegis, Giles Brooksbank discusses the change and what effect it means to the agency.

Why has the decision been taken to change the name of Feather Brooksbank to Carat?

"It is a positive development and it is wholly consistent with Aegis’ Power Brand strategy that it has developed which goes back about 18 months now and we are part and parcel of the broader alignment that has taken place within the group and it’s really our opportunity to become much more engaged with the group and drawn into their business policy. Certainly it helps with new business and people development. It also avoids any ambiguities of who we are and how we do things. It’s wholly consistent, it’s the same company, the same registration number, it is effectively a name change to become more directly aligned with the Aegis brand more directly as well. It’s a positive development, no doubt about it."

What involvement will you have in the Manchester operation?

"Effectively we will have a team here (Manchester) in recruitment which will continue as Feather Brooksbank Recruitment in Manchester and Edinburgh and we will have, up to a point, responsibilities for a recruitment team, which will continue to trade as Feather Brooksbank….Recruitment is a very different business. It’s been established for 12 years or so and we’re known in the recruitment market as Feather Brooksbank. That is an opportunity for us to remain aligned to that name as far as recruitment is concerned.

"Our buyout (Brooksbank and co-founder Stuart Feather) process ended in 2002. We have been part of Aegis longer than we have been independent. The situation has not changed since we joined on the 15 November 1999. We have been employees ever since that day, since about 5.20pm to be precise. And if it was business as usual that day, then it continues to be so today in 2011. We’re nearly nine years since the earn-out – in 2003 we were no longer in the earn-out. You tell me people who have completed their earn-out and stayed around nine years. When I spoke to some of our customers, they said that they were amazed we’d lasted as long as we have.

It obviously strengthens our name as Carat in the UK and very much consolidates our position in Scotland and the north of England."

And what about the future of yourself and Stuart within the company?

"My jobs is secure as long as my performance is secure. If you do a poor job then you have to get fired. There’s no agenda. Who knows at the end of the day. I could get hit by a bus tonight coming back from the NABS music quiz, it’s rumour and speculation, but as far as I’m concerned, no one has said to me that you have six months, nine months to a year, we don’t want you anymore because the name has changed. That’s just farcical to even speculation about something like that…. There are no changes with the Feather Brooksbank recruitment team remaining in place and myself and Stuart remain and plan to continue with the business as it stands."

So what does this mean for the running of Carat Manchester?

"Andy Jeal and Dave Lucas look after Carat Manchester. Our personnel will be transferring, with the exception of our recruitment team, across to Portman Street. That’s it."

Why make this change at all if so little will change?

"The brand strategy is pretty well documented what the five key brands; Carat, Posterscope, Vizeum, Iprospect and Isobar. They are the five drivers of the business and we’re much more closely aligned. Sometimes people ask ‘Why would I want to come to Feather Brooksbank if I can have Carat?’ and that’s been a constant problem for us as a business, because people either like to go small or they like to go big in this day and age. Being in the middle, as you can detect from some of our immediate competitors is a difficult territory to operate within."

Why has the brand lasted so long within Aegis?

"There’s been no material requirement for us to change. Due to our business performance, there’s been no desire to change things. Why try and fix something that is not broken, but the market changes and Aegis has done, based on what it planned to do, based on its power brand strategy. It’s time to move on. Things move on. That’s the way it is. It’s like anything, things evolve and this is a positive change for our business and for our personnel. I think it’s a really strong, positive statement that we’re making that we are much more integrated and more of a part of the Carat offering."

It is going to take a while for people to stop calling you Feather Brooksbank though?

"People never got it right in the first place! People kept calling it Feather's! Out chief executive referred to it as Feather’s in his press release only yesterday so one of the things is that it won’t be called Feather’s any more.

"It is genuinely part of us aligning ourselves with the Aegis strategy and it means that our business is much more consolidated within aegis as a whole and with Carat throughout the UK. Understandably it gives us a lot more strength and gravitas within the UK as well. Our billings help grow the side of the group as a whole. With the Carat Manchester acquisition, it helps sway a fair degree of the Carat position within the UK overall."

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