The Newhaven Iron Man challenge.

To the world of advertising. Word reaches me of some funny goings on at top scottish creative agency (their terminology, not mine).

In that wilfully wacky way of these creative types I hear the Newhaven offices are a parody of themelves. Such a cliche of advertising excess that it is unclear whether it is a product of unshackled working joy, careful self-irony or … well … David Brent with red braces and a smugly clever T-shirt.

I’m angling for an invite here, as I’d love to take the tour, since my own offices are shamefully traditional. Indeed, we’ve only just introduced an iPod playing very quietly.

At Newhaven, on the other hand, everything blares. Books are stacked in artfully placed shopping trolleys, modern-art style installations abound, garish posters and pictures adorn the walls and even the furniture is seizure inducing. Likewise the website, which is a flickering assault on the senses.

That’s before you even get to the shiny, happy, bright young things who people the offices: all achingly trendy, clever and … eager. Another source tells me that Newhaven is the place where a weekly ritual is for everybody to gather in the biggest room and eat soup, with a different colleague providing the recipe each week.

While I might sound grudging in my admiration, I suspect that most of us would secretly love to spend a week in a place like this. It just sounds like such total, unreconstructed fun, whereas most offices are actually pretty predictable.

No doubt Newhaven are doing something right as they turn out consistently memorable ads for the biggest brands and win shedloads of awards.

However, I also suspect that it would quickly become a bit too much for me. The one aspect I really do love the sound of is that in the basement of their Edinburgh offices, Newhaven staff have a pool table, table tennis and a darts board – the three disciplines which constitute the Newhaven Iron Man Challenge. Now that is officially brilliant.

I’m ready to step up to the oche, chalk my cue and practice my backspin serve while I await my invitation. Should it ever arrive I might even leave my sober suit at home that day and wear something funky. Though I’m sure the very use of the work immediately marks me out as an impostor.

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12 thoughts on “The Newhaven Iron Man challenge.

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