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Just a few years ago, contextual advertising was a vague concept and hardly available on the web. Today, contextual advertisements are pervasive across the internet, and publishers both large and small are taking advantage of the opportunities to drive new revenues via their online properties.

AOP hosted a seminar exploring these trends and offering the rare opportunity to hear from senior figures at Google, visiting London from the USA on 23 November.

Sponsored by Google, the event featured case studies from Daniel Ward-Lee, group digital advertising manager at News International and James Dunford Wood, founder and managing director of Travel Intelligence.

Ward-Lee looked at the challenges facing newspapers in the digital age as media consumption habits change. He talked about the importance of driving new revenue streams and looked at the benefits of contextual advertising for users, advertisers and media owners.

Dunford-Wood spoke about the way that working with a contextual advertising supplier like Google had impacted his business, enabling him to remunerate writers with a share of the ad revenue. He said this had encouraged his writers to keep their content fresh and exciting to attract more users and therefore more revenue for the site, and therefore the writer.

Brian Axe leads product management for the AdSense for Content business at Google and was in London from the USA with Mike Liang, international product manager at Google. Along with Carl Jordan, head of strategic publishing at Google UK, they joined the panel for a Q&A session with delegates which was moderated by Errol Baran, head of advertising and sponsorship at Channel 4 and co-chair of the AOP commercial working group.

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