The year that started with standing up for freedom of speech in the wake of the horrific murders at Charlie Hebdo and ended with some of the same commentators calling for an idiotic American presidential candidate to be banned from the UK for speaking what passes for his mind.

The year that started with The Cog Blog praising Publicis for realizing the coming way of the world by incorporating Vivaki’s trading desk into its media agencies and ended with us criticizing Publicis’ media agency Starcom’s US management for behaving as if Chicago truly is the center of the media universe.

The year that someone who should have known better at Aegis declared that online fraud was not a problem, to be followed by the industry not sorting out online fraud.

The year that Jon Mandel made a speech at the ANA conference calling out alleged dodgy practices at media agencies, to be followed by the ANA apologizing to those media agencies offended by his remarks, and the ANA subsequently employing Ebiquity’s Firm Decisions alongside K2 to investigate these same alleged dodgy practices.

The year that the IAB brought (more) ridicule upon itself by deciding that an ad only needed to be 50% in view for 1 second for it to have been viewed. The Bureau’s follow-up was to call for publishers to take legal action against ad-blockers, a sentiment they rapidly retracted.

The year of the super-pitch; following every one of which the relevant agency holding group declared itself to be a) supremely unconcerned at the loss or b) truly reshaping the industry with the win.

The year in which ad-blockers became big news and everyone blamed everyone else for our collective failure to make online advertising even remotely acceptable to those at whom it is aimed.

The year of mobile. Surely, at last? No, it wasn’t.

The year that the digital community became aware of the rest of the advertising community -- coincidentally at about the same time the rest of the advertising community were fervently wishing the digital community would pipe down for five minutes.

The year that The Cog Blog topped 35,000 page views. We are now officially 143 times smaller than The AdContrarian and still struggling to say in 700 words what Bob manages to say in 100.

The year of Cog Blog winners:

  • OMG wins the Cog Blog pitch of the year prize by cleaning up Procter.
  • MEC wins the Cog Blog most beautiful agency contest courtesy of L’Oreal.
  • GroupM’s Alfie (alright, if we’re being picky, Rob Norman’s dog Alfie) wins a Cog Blog special award as most photogenic media superstar.
  • Havas’ Paul Frampton wins the coveted Cog Blog most quoted person in the industry award (although this is subject to a recount called by a bad loser we had better not identify claiming that quoting yourself shouldn’t count).
  • OMD’s Mainardo de Nardis wins the best-comment-on-the-Cog-Blog-site award.
  • Publicis’ Maurice Levy wins a strongly contested category for ill-judged appearances from a holding company CEO with his YouTube chart topping “Reorganization” video, complete with finger-wagging exhortations to his staff, few of whom have bothered to watch it, according to the winner of the columnist-I’ve-stolen-most-from award, Mediatel’s Dominic Mills.
  • Finally the Cog Blog thanks award goes to everyone who has bothered to read my rants over the year. It simply amazes me that so many people read this stuff and take the trouble to tell me, week in, week out what they think of it. Good or bad, positive or negative I really appreciate all the comments.

If there are winners there must be losers … nah, it’s not the time of year for that.

Happy New Year, everyone. See you on the other side.

Image at top courtesy of Corbis. The opinions and points of view expressed in this commentary are exclusively the views of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of MediaVillage/MyersBizNet management or associated bloggers.