In Advertising Week Europe’s 298-page glossy programme, Global CEO Lord Scheckner presented the advertising bazaar as an optimistic antidote to the stark “turbulence” and “deeply-conflicted” times we are living in.

The five days of talks, workshops and schmoozing are an annual call to arms to celebrate, forecast and steer the future course of our industry. Laden with talented line-ups from an increasingly diverse background of specialisms, there was much to learn, query and be inspired by.

If you weren’t able to attend, you can still find hours of talks available to stream on the website. But here’s a flavour of what went down over the course of the week.

Unilever CMO Keith Weed was optimistic for all marketers at the Building Brands in an Attention Economy: “I genuinely believe this is the best time to be a marketer. There have never been so many ways to engage.”

Google’s EMEA President, Matt Brittin, apologised over ad placements featuring on extremist content. Googlegate was the subject of the week as advertisers continued to pull ads from Google in the wake of The Times scoop.

Criticism wasn’t just reserved for Google as PR guru Matthew Freud said it was clear to consumers that Uber was “at odds with the values of its core customer base” because it had never used its fleet to do something socially minded. Freud said this compared unfavourably with authentic, purpose-led brands built by the likes of Jamie Oliver, Bono and David Beckham.

Equality and diversity were hot topics and the number of men on panels was fiercely debated on Twitter. One stage where this was not up for debate was a panel discussion tackling The Future Face of Marketing to Men. The panel featured the world’s most iconic male model, David Gandy, who left Twitter feeling flustered. Or was it fellow panellist and friend of the7stars Jonathan Durden drawing the crowds? What’s Hot can’t decide.

Our very own Adele Burns joined up with Adapt.ly and TLC to share insights into how audiences consume content, what value they derive from social, and recommendations on the approach advertisers should take.

The importance of branding surfaced across the week with Stacy Martinet, CMO of Mashable, saying: “We’re in an era where brand is everything…if you’re a 200-year-old company, you’re having to reinvent yourself for this new world. And if you’re an app, you’re having to build a brand.” The headlines stressed the importance for brands to have the ability to navigate ever more choice by having a holistic, impartial and accountable approach to advertising solutions.

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