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Propercorn's brand manager departs to co-found new agency dedicated to start-up marketing

Faraz Aghaei, Propercorn's brand and marketing manager (pictured right), has left the company to launch a new agency devoted to helping start-ups market their businesses.

New outfit The Clerkenwell Brothers also comprises two real-life brothers: Cass (centre) and Nick Horowitz (left), who respectively come from the worlds of journalism and film.

The three will work together to offer clients both a creative shop and production studio, unsurprisingly, out of their Clerkenwell office.

The start-up focus of the agency came about from Aghaei's two-year experience at Propercorn, which grew from a start-up into a fully-fledged brand during his time there.

"There wasn't an agency that suited the needs of a start up," he told The Drum. "You have your PR agencies, your video production agencies and then your marketing agencies all pitching for work under different campaigns. What they don’t realise is that cash flow is usually the biggest concern for these brands."

C Horowitz added: "Why would a start up pay a £2,000 retainer per month to a PR agency that occasionally gets them into an article, looks after their community management and press releases? And then more on top for content creation? It’s just not very realistic."

For that reason, The Clerkenwell Brothers' financial model does not include retainers and instead works on a percentage revenue share basis run project-by-project. N Horowitz explained: "We put our money where our mouth is; we charge a small upfront fee because we know how hard it is for start-ups who have cashflow issues."

So far the trio has worked with clients such as the Wireless Power Consortium (creating a online ad starring a monkey), and has just signed with alcoholic sweet brand Smith and Sinclair and the Echo Online. The agency has been operating full time for two months; C Horowitz said the industry's reception has been "great" so far.

"More than 600,000 start ups launched in the UK last year, so there is a plethora of potential clients," N Horowitz added. "We’re quite picky with who we work with as we get quite emotionally invested in the brands and want to see them flourish."

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