Diary: Brooks looks for canine devotion from his staff

Is Martin Brooks, the usually dapper chief executive of Agency Republic, nurturing a secret cross-dressing habit? It certainly looked that way at a recent surprise agency team-building day. Brooks, resplendent in a curly wig, tweed suit and full make-up, starred as the late eccentric bossy dog trainer Barbara Woodhouse, while his long-suffering employees were - you guessed it - the dogs.

The afternoon took place at a public park close to Republic's Battersea Bridge offices and consisted of Crufts-style "dog trials" in which staff were awarded a variety of prizes. The unfortunate winners were then dressed up in a dog collar and lead and led at a brisk trot around the edge of the park while the rest of the agency made loud woofing noises. As bizarre as this might sound, Diary is assured by the participants the whole thing was all "great fun" and not at all as sinister as it probably appeared to any random passers-by.

As Woodhouse herself once said: "The dog has an enviable mind; it remembers the nice things in life and quickly blots out the nasty." Lets hope the Agency Republic workforce subscribes to the same philosophy.