LXAcademy Awards 2016

LXAcademy Awards 2016


Ben Stutchbury is a Junior Medical Writer in the Manchester office, who recently joined the 2016 Graduate program at Havas Lynx. Ben has just finished a seven-year stint at the University of Manchester where he did a degree and PhD in Molecular Cell Biology. During his PhD, he also wrote regularly about science and tried performing some science-themed stand-up comedy, who knew that existed?

Let’s Havas a good time


“Do you want a drink?”

“Hmmm… ok, but NOT another zombie, they are crazy strong in here.”

Two zombies later, any more would have constituted an apocalypse, and I was jumping around like a mad man to 99 Problems by Jay-Z. I got 99 problems, but tonight ain’t one.

Having just finished a PhD, and with it, seven years at university, many people had warned me about joining the ‘real world’. If I had known it was like this, I would have signed up much sooner.

But let’s backtrack a bit.

The #LXAcademy had drawn the curtain on its third year, but not before one final encore. And what a show it was. Thursday’s Awards Night marked the end of the #LXAcademy for 2016, as well as celebrating the incredible work done throughout Havas Lynx during the last 12 months.

Bubbles and canapés welcomed guests to Manchester Town Hall. Decked out in black and red, the Great Hall truly lived up to its name. The only sight to rival the venue were the guests, whose suits and dresses lit up the room. Literally in some cases, given the number of sequins on show.

The food was delicious and the wine, plentiful. To steal a partial phrase from the bible: “eat, drink and be merry”, sums up the proceedings nicely. David Hunt, CEO, recapped the last year at Havas Lynx before the keynote address. Delivered by sci-fi artist and body architect Lucy McRae, this was a fascinating glimpse into the future. Apparently, it will involve foil-wrapped vacuum therapy and ingestible perfume. But the only future that we cared about were the awards.

Prizes were given for the best work, campaigns and ideas from Havas Lynx that year. In the previous weeks, each agency had put forward their contenders for each of the 12 categories, which were narrowed down to a set of finalists. Earlier on that day, each finalist had presented their entry to a panel of esteemed judges in a series of high-pressure, 5 minute pitches.

The judges had deliberated and the winners had been chosen. The atmosphere turned from drunken merriment to steely focus. The tension was palpable. The awards were given out one-by-one and were spread fairly evenly across the agencies. No single team dominated, adding excitement as to who would win the final award, the Grand Prix for agency of the year.

Dave Hunt returned to the stage to make the announcement. And the winner is… Pryce!

The incredible work presented at the awards really demonstrated that at Havas Lynx, we work extremely hard. Now, the time had come to show that we can also play hard. The music started and the most, shall we say… confident… people took to the dancefloor. Unfortunately, it would appear that confidence does not equal ability. When the party finished, the hard-core (stupid) among us carried on to Liars bar, where we were joined by the aforementioned zombies.

If the evening was Clinton, the morning after was Trump. To complete the earlier biblical phrase: “eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die”. It certainly felt that way to me. But, I have been given a glimpse into my own future, there’s no ingestible perfume, but it does all seem positive. I got 99 problems, but my new job, sure ain’t one.