Association of online publishers Helping media owners build better digital business

Havas, Mumsnet, Brandwatch, Haymarket & Sift to speak at next week's AOP Forum

Comments, likes and retweets are now standard wherever you go on the web, and even Google has set its sights for future growth in social.

Meanwhile, publishers are seeing both vibrant communities on their own sites and an engaged following on social networks as critical to attracting new users, deepening their relationship with existing users and feeding into plans for future product development.

The next AOP forum takes place on Tuesday 17th May at the Blue Fin in Southwark.

Find out more, or book your place - free places for publisher members.

Speakers include:

  • Justine Roberts, Founder & CEO of Mumsnet
  • Amy Kean, Director of Social Media, Havas Media Social
  • Ben Heald, CEO, Sift
  • Stuart Forrest, Publishing Director,
  • Giles Palmer, Founder and CEO, Brandwatch

More on our speakers

Justine Roberts
Justine Roberts, Founder & CEO of Mumsnet

Justine Roberts is the Founder and CEO of Mumsnet, an online community of parents sharing advice, support and product recommendations. Over the last ten years Mumsnet has grown into the UK’s leading social network for mums with 1.35 million monthly unique visitors. In 2010 Justine was named 97th most powerful person in the Media in the MediaGuardian 100 list.

Before that she wrote about football and cricket for the Daily Telegraph and the Times and before that, a long time ago, she was an economist and strategist for SG Warburg.

Justine is a mother of four - twelve-year old identical twins – Lola and Scarlet –Jake who is seven and Jesse, four.

Amy Kean
Amy Kean, Director of Social Media at Havas Media Social

Tasked with understanding how social media can not just work within communications activity but also how it can benefit entire businesses, Amy is an expert in social regulatory affairs and best practice, ensuring that all the agencies that work within Havas Media Social are dedicated to delivering to the very highest industry standards.

Her last role was Senior PR and Marketing Manager at the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) – the trade body for digital marketing – as well as creator and head of the IAB Social Media Council, the biggest and most significant group of practitioners responsible for the promotion of social media in the UK.

Amy was at the IAB since 2003, and was responsible for building its brand and helping to put online on the agenda of advertisers across the UK. She provided PR and marketing leadership for every IAB initiative, from its landmark research projects to its regular educational events and the work of its many working groups, including search, video, behavioural targeting, IASH and UKOM, as well as driving many of its educational programmes.

Ben Heald
Ben Heald, CEO, Sift

Ben was one of the founders of Sift in 1996 and is one of the company’s largest shareholders. He launched AccountingWEB in May 1997, now one of the UK’s largest online professional publishing businesses. He also took responsibility for the subsequent launch of AccountingWEB US, BusinessZone, TrainingZone and TravelMole. He acted as the first editor, then Community Director of AccountingWEB, then Director of Communities for Sift. He also took the lead in raising Sift's two rounds of external finance in 1999 and 2000. In 1999 he formed PracticeWEB, Sift’s Software as a Service (SaaS) business for the UK accountancy market. He was appointed CEO of Sift in September 2002.

His fourteen years at Sift has given him a wide range of experience building and launching products within the technical sector and running online businesses. He is a regular speaker at industry events on online business. Ben believes that his job at Sift isn’t about delegating tasks and monitoring results, it’s to imbue the company with a sense of responsibility for the business.

Having recently taken up the piano again after many years, he passed his Grade 8 exam in March 2010 (after failing first time round three months earlier).

Stuart Forrest
Stuart Forrest, Publishing Director of

Stuart Forrest is the Publishing Director of, the motoring community and classifieds site acquired by Haymarket in 2007.

Stuart has been with Haymarket since 1999 and has worked in a variety of
commercial roles across its motoring business including Autocar, Classic
& Sports Car, What Car, and a stint on Practical Caravan. was established in 1998 to provide an online magazine and community for sportscar enthusiasts.

After many years of hard work, the site has grown into one of the world's biggest automotive communities. Each month over 2.5 million unique visitors use PH reading hundreds of millions of pages between them.

The site remained in private ownership until January 2007 when it was acquired by its current owners Haymarket Publishing.

Giles Palmer
Giles Palmer, Founder and CEO of Brandwatch

Giles is the founder and CEO of Social Media monitoring company Brandwatch. After leaving Sky Interactive ten years ago, Giles used his foundation in business and tech to build Brandwatch.

The enterprise has since grown from a local search engine to one of the world's leading Social Media Monitoring companies. Brandwatch now serves businesses across the globe from FTSE 100 companies to SMEs in helping them to understand, grow and utilise their online audiences.

Find out more about this event, or book your place - attendance at our Forums is now free for Publisher (Board and Affiliate) Members, up to a maximum of 4 places per company. Any additional places will be invoiced at £95+vat.

Tickets for Associate Members remain at £95+vat. Non-member places are priced at £195+vat.

Unsure if your company is a member? Please see our Full list of AOP Member Companies.

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