Madden, the planning director of Tequila\London, is understood to have resigned from the agency. Cornwell, the former chief executive of TBWA\GGT, has been without a job since he left Tequila\ in February. Both held similar talks with Mother earlier in the year.
Simon Foster, the former managing director of PHD Confidential, who left the media agency in September and who was also linked to the Mother talks, has also been approached by the start-up.
The venture currently lacks a creative director. Shaun McIlrath was involved in the venture until he signed with Hurrell and Dawson last month as the agency's first creative director.
Conversations between the The Red Brick Road and the start-up have been underway for several months, but no deal has yet been signed.
Paul Hammersley, a founding partner of The Red Brick Road, confirmed the agency had been in "various discussions with various people about setting up a sister company in direct and digital".
He added: "I cannot comment on the individuals involved because it's not agreed what we are going to do. We have not signed a deal or finalised a plan of action."