Mark Gorman: The NABS media charity music quiz needs you

ON American Independence Day, at 6.30pm, the advertising, design and media community will gather for the seventh NABS (National Advertising Benevolent Society) Scotland summer music quiz – hosted by yours truly.

Inspired by the seminal 1982 Donald Fagen album of the same name, my DJ handle for the evening will be The Nightfly.

Since 2007, I’ve annually set seven fiendishly difficult rounds of strictly music-related questions that have seen grown men crying into their wine glasses.

The event has grown from lowly origins. We first started out in The Communications Workers Union, off Edinburgh’s London Road. Six agency teams – bloated with Radio Forth and Fopp music store ringers – fought it out amidst the ghosts of posties past (we thought the Communications Union was for us media types but it turned out it was the Postman’s club).

The inaugural trophy (that we forgot to buy) was raised aloft by Multiply – a free-thinking, integrated marketing agency.

Year two saw Newhaven Communications lift the cup. By now, our leader, Kate Harris, had raided the petty cash and sourced one of those faux silver/faux onyx trophies that pub darts teams slaver over, having run across the road to Emslie Engravings half an hour before the event began.

Our spiritual home is now Newhaven Communications, in Edinburgh, alternating between their ambulance depot and their basement. And, with home advantage, Newhaven retained the trophy in 2009 before, in a shock development, the cup headed west (the only time so far) to the sadly now defunct Guy Robertson Partnership.

By now, the event had swollen to some 15 teams and victory was mainly achieved by remaining compos mentis enough to decipher rounds six and seven. That was the secret of Robertson’s female-inspired team who clearly knew their Jay Z from their J Lo. It also proved that The Nightfly is on top of his musical game well into the current century, and foxing many of the old sops that compete.

Global Radio embraced the event with relish and generously sponsored the victories of Multiply (again) in 2011 and (yet again) last year. Indeed, last year’s event proved so popular (now attracting media owners such as Global, Bauer, Primesight and STV) that Newhaven were faced with the serious challenge of packing in 27 teams.

Last year’s contestants will remember Howie Findlay of Multiply blowing the entire field away with an amazing knowledge of the Eurovision Song Contest on the joker card round. ‘Challenged by the authorities’ that something must be amiss, Howie promptly reeled off 32 consecutive Eurovision winners and this turned out to be the difference between them and the rest.

And so to 2013. Can Multiply make it an unprecedented fourth title? Can Newhaven even the score? Will a new winner emerge?

We have 16 teams entered so far but we’re looking for more.

We want to raise over £5,000 to help NABS (the charity that looks after media people who’ve fallen on hard times).

Once again the event is to be held at Newhaven Communications (77 Montgomery Street).

For a fee of £125, you can enter a team of four and, for a further £20, you can purchase a joker to double your score in a chosen round (a la It’s a knockout). We’ll throw in pizza and a cheap bar.

For more information, contact me at

Mark Gorman is an independent marketing consultant operating under the banner, ‘Think Hard’. He has over 25 years of experience in advertising, design, direct marketing, PR, professional writing (especially blogging), business mentoring, digital marketing and research. He was co-founder of the former advertising agency, 1576.