Gladstone Departs, Carlton Joins Hill, Holliday

Doug Gladstone, a former creative executive at Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos, has launched Brand/Content, which will specialize in direct and interactive communications.

Gladstone is succeeded at Hill, Holliday by Scott Carlton as senior vice president/executive creative director of the Boston agency’s relationship marketing division, which works for clients such as FleetBoston Financial, Humana and Upromise.

Carlton this week joins the Interpublic Group shop from New York’s Wunderman, where he had been vice president/group creative director working on Amtrak, Clairol, the U.S. Army and Sears.

Despite the softening economy, Gladstone, 40, says that now, “we see a great opportunity in being able to partner with larger agencies or working directly for clients. We plan to do both.” Brand/Content has three clients, which Gladstone declined to name. The startup launches with three employees and billings of less than $10 million, he said.

Gladstone believes it is more economical for agencies to partner with the startup than to form their own interactive or direct unit. He said he will look to forge wide-ranging relationships, given the current economic climate.

“I think it’s a good concept,” said Mike Sheehan, president and chief creative officer at Hill, Holliday. “There’s always a need for people to deliver high-quality creative, and Doug’s a great account guy as well.”

In recent years, Boston has become something of a hotbed for startup agencies. Modernista! is perhaps most notable, having added clients the Gap, MTV, Rossignol and The Travel Channel in short order.

Fort Franklin has also thrived with clients such as Cider Jack Hard Cider; Shreve, Crump & Lowe and Sonera Zed. McCarthy Mambro Bertino, Push and Velocity have also managed to score notable accounts such as Bob’s Stores, Jiffy Lube and the New England Aquarium, respectively.