Saint founders launch Hometown start-up

Simon Labbett and David Gamble, the co-founders and creative directors of the Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R digital shop Saint, have launched their own agency, Hometown.

Chris Jefford, David Gamble, Helen Kimber, Simon Labbett
Chris Jefford, David Gamble, Helen Kimber, Simon Labbett

The agency launches with the backing of the branding agency Start JG, which has taken a 35 per cent stake.

The management team also includes Saint's former innovations director, Chris Jefford, as the strategy director and the former RKCR/Y&R and Brothers and Sisters new-business director, Helen Kimber, as its managing partner. It has no launch clients.

Hometown is positioned as a multidisciplinary agency and claims that the partnership with Start JG allows it to be able to work with clients throughout the consumer journey, from the development of the brand identity to the communications strategy.

Gamble said: "Hometown is our opportunity to take our learnings from the last 17 years, start from scratch, listen to what clients want from a modern agency and strip out the rest to form an agency built around their business, and ideas that genuinely affect people."

Mike Curtis, the chief executive of Start, said: "The Hometown team are proven agenda-setters and they are on the threshold of doing so again. We look forward to a lean and meaningful collaborative relationship."

Labbett and Gamble left Saint at the end of last year; its other founding partner, Adam Graham, departed in September 2011 to become chief executive of Weapon7. Last week, RKCR/Y&R announced Saint was to merge into its main agency.

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