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Our top stories & events in 2011

Xmas Self-Portraitby Megan TraceXmas Self-PortraitThanks for your support this year... And wishing you a happy Xmas and a successful 2012. We’ve picked out a few stories from our top events this year – call it AOP’s 2011 greatest hits. We’ll be shut between lunchtime on 23rd December and 3rd January, have a great holiday and see you in the new year. Lee Baker, AOP Director PS - Small plug for our Awards next year, at the Roundhouse on 19 July. Entries open in January!

1. Brands becoming publishers in 2011 2011 saw brands producing content like never before. We had an early view of this at our February partnerships event, where Dunhill spoke about producing ad-free, product placement-free video for their own site. 2. Unleashing the power of data and real time bidding A currency and transaction model for data was raised as early in the year as March by iProspect, when Criteo also gave publishers advice on the opportunities and pitfalls of RTB. And since the TLAs (three letter acronyms) show no signs of going away – with the help of the Rubicon Project, we added an A-Z of online ad jargon. 3. Why don't media partnerships include social? ‘There is nothing really inherently very social about adding a 'like’ button to your site, or setting up a Facebook page. Truly social campaigns are cross-platform partnerships which speak with a community, not at them, in a way that complements their behaviours and frame of mind.’ Havas Social Media Director Amy Kean outlined her ‘social social’ theory at our building smart communities event in May. 4. Product is… At our July Forum we learned from the BBC why a product manager is like the conductor of an orchestra. While at the AOP Summit in October, Google and Facebook said we should start to think of ads as products. We also held our first ever hack day in October. The theme was HTML5 - hopefully the first of many to come. 5. Journalism, public interest & hack gate At the Summit in October, we brought together editors, lawyers, the BBC and Mumsnet to debate drawing new journalistic lines in the wake of hack gate. As moderator Rory Cellan-Jones pointed out, while technology and business have been constantly discussed over the past 29 years, any debate about journalistic ethics has been absent, at least until the last 12 months. 6. Holding a mirror up to the industry: Alex Blagg explodes a few brains at the AOP Summit You either loved him or you hated him... Feedback from the Summit varied widely, from 'I didn't really get Alex's sense of humour but probably because I'm boring' to 'Incredible! He held a mirror up to the industry!'

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