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A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W  X Y Z


American Academy of Advertising (AAA)

An association of educators, professionals and students in the advertising field.

Above the fold

In Web advertising, an ad placed on a Web page in such a way that you do not need to scroll horizontally or vertically to view it.

Above the line (ATL)

Any advertising technique that focuses on general media such as TV, cinema, radio, print and Internet.


For Web advertising, an ad is almost always a banner, a graphic image or set of animated images (in a file called an animated GIF) of a designated pixel-size and byte-size limit. An ad or set of ads for a campaign is often referred to as "the creative." Banners and other special advertising that include an interactive or visual element beyond the usual are known as rich media.

Ad copy

The actual text used for an ad campaign.

Ad impression

A single ad that appears on a Web page when the page is viewed. Ad impressions are what most Web sites sell or prefer to sell. A Web page may offer space for a number of ad impressions, also called ad views.

Ad inventory

The total available inventory to sell in a given period.

Ad space ¬

The space on a Web page reserved for the displaying of advertisements. Typically at the top or bottom of a page, or if a small advertisement, in the right or left column. The most desirable ad space is above the fold.

Ad units

A way of classifying ad types. Ad units on the Internet include banners, buttons, microbuttons, pop-ups, skyscrapers, text links, interstitials and superstitials. Ad units are usually defined by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) as voluntary guidelines.

Ad view

Synonymous with "ad impression," which is more commonly used.

Advertising plan

An outline of the goals an advertising campaign should achieve, how to accomplish those goals, and how to determine whether the campaign was successful in obtaining those goals.


An advertisement styled to resemble the editorial format and typeface of the content in which it runs. Often generates higher response rates.

Affiliate marketing

A type of marketing that enables companies to extend their profits to individual webmasters. Affiliate marketing programs require companies to pay independent parties through a cost-per-action campaign. This means that whenever a sale (or any completed action) is made on the company's site thanks to a click from an affiliate's link, the affiliate receives a set commission.

Affiliate program

A form of online marketing that is gaining popularity and is based on the concept that affiliates are paid when their marketing efforts boost sales and generate revenue for the advertiser. Affiliate marketing programs create a win-win situation for all parties concerned.

Affinity marketing

Any marketing effort, including e-mail promotions, banners and offline media, aimed at consumers on the basis of established buying patterns. For example, a bookstore might send an e-mail advertisement with the headline "New mystery books released this week" to all customers who had previously bought mystery books.

AIDA (attention, interest, desire, action)

A historical model of how advertising works, by first getting consumers’ attention, then their interest, etc.

Alt (alternative) attribute

Text that describes pictures or illustrations on a Web page. The text can be spoken aloud by a computer's screen reader so that users with visual impairments can understand what an image conveys. Alt attributes also allow search engines to "see" what's on a page. In addition, they are useful for text-based browsers that are unable to display images. The text of an alt attribute can generally be viewed by hovering over the image with the mouse. It is often used by advertisers to reinforce a message or issue a call to action, such as "Click here."

Alt tag or text

See "alt attribute".


Data that can be used to measure the performance of a Web site and understand how viewers use or react to it. Such data includes page views, conversion rates, and other information based on log files or tracking codes.

Anchor text

The clickable text in a hyperlink that includes words that convey information about the link‘s destination. For example, the words "Community How To Guides" might be used as anchor text for the URL Anchor text can help with page rankings on search engine results pages, or SERPs.

Application programming interface (API)

An interface that can be used by third-party program developers to add member-specific data to applications. When companies open their platforms to third-party developers, they can host APIs in the same way that companies such as Facebook and MySpace do. The applications created using APIs are also called widgets, and can be installed by users so they can use them on their social network profiles.

Arbitron (ARB)

A media research company that uses the "diary method" to accumulate data on radio use and provide ratings on audience size and comparison for radio stations in a given market, or designated marketing area (DMA).

Assignment editor

The staff member of a television or radio news team responsible for judging appropriateness of story ideas and assigning reporters to cover the stories.


See "above the line".

Audience segmentation

The process of dividing up or grouping a target audience based on common characteristics related to their behaviors or predictors of behavior, such as geographic region, demographics, psychographics and product usage. Audience segmentation helps target media messages and key strategies.

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Back link

An incoming link from another Web site. Google uses back links in ranking pages because high-quality back links are essentially like citations or recommendations and can increase a Web site's search engine optimization (SEO).

Banner ad

An online advertisement that is typically placed above or below the body content of a page, positioned horizontally along the top or bottom of the page. They are sponsored ads companies choose to host on their Web site, often because the ad is relevant or complementary to the content on that Web page.

Banner burnout

A condition occurring when a banner has been shown so often to the same visitors that the click-through rate has dropped dramatically. Rotating banner ads helps to reduce banner burnout.

Behavioral targeting

The use of sophisticated Internet technology to track frequent and popular searches made by a person through his or her browser. The purpose is to deliver more relevant advertisements and links to the browser based on what a computer perceives to be the user's interests and priorities.

Below the line (BTL)

A type of sales promotion focusing on short-term incentives, usually targeted toward consumers.

Beyond the banner

The idea that in addition to banner ads, there are other ways to use the Internet to communicate a marketing message. These include sponsoring a website or a particular feature on it; advertising in e-mail newsletters; co-branding with another company and its Web site; contest promotion; and, in general, finding new ways to engage and interact with the desired audience. Beyond-the-banner approaches can also include the interstitial and streaming video infomercial. The banner itself can be transformed into a small rich media event.

Billboard (BB)

In broadcast media, airtime (commonly 2 to 10 seconds in length) given to advertisers, generally those who purchase multiple commercials within a program.


A popular search engine created by Microsoft that was unveiled in 2009. was formerly known as Live Search, Windows Live Search and MSN Search.

Blind link

A text or graphical hyperlink that does not clearly indicate where the hyperlink leads.

Blind traffic

Web visitor traffic that is generated using blind links.


A specialized site that allows individuals to share opinions, stories, news and other forms of content. Blogs are generally similar to a daily journal, and users can subscribe to blogs using some type of RSS reader. The word "blog" is derived from the longer term "Web log."

Body copy

The text within a print advertisement that helps qualify or further explain the headline or subheads.


One or more paragraphs stating who you are, what you do, and how you do it, usually used as the introduction to a biography or conclusion of a news release.

Bonus spot

A free announcement or commercial provided by a TV or radio station to an advertiser as "value-added" for buying paid advertising with the station.

Booked space

The number of ad views for an ad space that are currently sold out.


The staff person at a TV, radio or cable program who responds to pitch letters when an appearance needs to be arranged, or "booked."

Bounce rate

Used to analyze website traffic. It represents the percentage of initial visitors to a site who "bounce" away to a different site rather than continue on to other pages within the same site.


The process by which the true character, attributes, values, message and purpose of a product, organization or cause is communicated and "burned" into the minds of the intended consumers. Successful brands repeatedly promote and differentiate their product, service, cause or organization in a meaningful and compelling way for immediate recall, positive association, and action by their intended targeted audiences.

Breadcrumb navigation

A single line of text near the top of a page that shows the page's location in the site hierarchy. It helps search engines and site visitors alike get a better understanding of the relationships between pages.

Broadcast media

Television or radio.


See "below the line".

Bus king, bus queen

A type of outdoor transit advertising designed for the outside of buses. As the names imply, a king is a larger ad than a queen.


A type of advertising unit that is smaller than a banner and usually placed in parts of a Web page where space is limited, such as in narrow columns on the left or right side of a page.

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A copy of a Web page that is stored in a browser's memory. When a Web page is cached, it means that the page you’re looking at is not necessarily live, but rather the copy retained by the browser. Refreshing the page can help update the cache.

Cache bursting

Also known as "defeating cache," this process is accomplished by adding a random number to the banner HTML each time the page is reloaded. This causes a separate banner request to be sent to the server, thus insuring the banner is not cached and banner advertisement impressions are not undercounted.


In Internet advertising, the caching of pages in a cache server or the user's computer means that some ad views won’t be known by the ad counting programs, which is a source of concern. There are several techniques for telling the browser not to cache particular pages.

Call to action

A statement, usually at the end of a marketing piece, encouraging the reader, viewer or listener to take the action that is the objective of the piece. This action may be buying the company's product or service, or simply taking the next step in the sales cycle, such as arranging for a product demonstration.


An ad, art, text or graphic ready for inclusion in publications without the need for further in-house preparation by the publication. In the modern computer era, cameras are often no longer used, but the phrase remains.

Cascading style sheets

A Web design technique used to add various styles to Web pages.

Cause marketing

Sometimes referred to as "cause-related marketing," this strategy links the purchase or promotion of a product with the fund-raising or promotion of a worthwhile charity, project or cause, creating a mutually profitable win for both the product and the cause.


The opportunity for a Web site visitor to be transferred to another location or Web site by clicking on an advertisement, as recorded by the server.

Click-through rate (CTR)

A rate that is computed by dividing the number of clicks that a given campaign receives by the total impressions bought. For example, if a client buys 100,000 impressions and gets 1,000 click-throughs, the CTR is 1 percent.


The path a visitor takes while navigating from site to site or from page to page within a site. It is useful to publishers to see what path people are taking before leaving the site.


See "content management system."

Color proof

An early, full-color print of a finished advertisement, used to evaluate or adjust the ad's final appearance.


On the Web, often means two Web sites, Web site sections, or features displaying their logos (and thus their brands) together, so that the viewer considers the site or feature to be a joint enterprise. (Co-branding is often associated with cross-linking between the sites, although that isn't necessary.)


A common unit of measure by newspapers, whereby ad space is purchased by the width in columns and the depth in inches. For example, a print ad that is 3 standard columns wide and 6 inches tall (or deep) would be 18 column-inches.

Combination rate

A special media pricing arrangement that involves purchasing space or time on more than one vehicle in a package deal. This is frequently offered where different vehicles share a common owner.

Commercial length

The duration of a TV or radio commercial expressed in seconds, for example, :10, :15, :30.

Comparative advertising

An advertising approach that directly compares one product brand to a competing brand.

Competitive parity

A method of determining an advertising budget, designed to maintain the current "share of voice."

Comprehensive layout

A rough layout of an ad designed for presentation only, but so detailed as to appear very much like the finished ad will look.

Concept story

Feature story designed to pique the interest of a certain demographic audience.

Content development

The act of preparing and developing a Web site's content to ensure that it is properly set up, crawled and indexed by the search engines. Content development is a major element of SEO and requires close attention to ensure the success of the site.

Content management system (CMS)

A system that is used to change and update information on a Web site. A comprehensive CMS allows the site owner to manage all of the content on every page, including text, images, links, forms, and lists .

Contextual advertising

Also known as content-targeted advertising, which means that an advertisement is shown on a Web site that is "in context" to a company's specific product or service.

Controlled circulation

Publications, generally business-oriented, that are delivered only to readers who meet some qualifications. Generally, these publications are free to the qualified recipients.

Corporate branding

The process of establishing a new product's credibility by associating it with a reputable company. Corporate branding is extremely important to the success of new products. The main reason companies use corporate branding is to increase awareness about a particular product and create brand recognition for that product.

Cost per action (CPA)

A pricing model that represents how effective various online advertising campaigns are for your business. CPAs measure the relationship between how much you are paying versus how many actions are resulting from the campaign. Actions, like conversions, are any ultimate outcome of the campaign, whether that is a purchase from your Web site or simply a click on a PPC ad.

Cost per click (CPC)

Very rarely used, but still often requested. A $5 CPC means that for every click advertisers receive on their online ad, they are paying $5 for it. CPC is calculated by taking the cost of the ad divided by the number of clicks on the ad. A $5,000 ad clicked 1,000 times equals a $5 CPC.

Cost per day (CPD)

A payment model by which advertisers pay for their ads to be shown on a daily basis.

Cost per inquiry (CPI)

Another name for cost per lead.

Cost per lead (CPL)

A more specific form of cost per action in which a visitor provides enough information at the advertiser's site (or in interaction with a rich media ad) to be used as a sales lead. Note that you can estimate cost per lead regardless of how you pay for the ad (in other words, buying on a pay per lead basis is not required to calculate the cost per lead).

Cost per rating point (CPP)

The cost to reach one percent of a specified target audience (e.g., men 18-34) with an ad in a given broadcast media vehicle.

Cost per sale (CPS)

Sites that sell products directly from their Web site or can otherwise determine sales generated as the result of an advertising sales lead can calculate the cost per sale of Web advertising.

Cost per thousand (CPM)

A cost-efficiency comparison and measure that indicates the cost of reaching 1,000 readers, viewers or listeners through an advertisement.

Cost per thousand targeted (CPTM)

Ad impressions, apparently implying that the audience you’re selling is targeted to particular demographics.

Cost per transaction (CPT)

One of the types of CPA, this method allows advertisers to pay whenever a visitor who clicked on their advertisement generates a transaction (usually a sale). Prices typically range from $1 to $25.


See "cost per action."


See "cost per click."


See "cost per day."


See "cost per inquiry." The same as cost per lead, CPL.


See "cost per lead."


See "cost per thousand."


See "cost per rating point."


See "cost per sale."


See "cost per transaction."


See "cost per thousand targeted."


Refers to the broadcast spot, commercial or print ad unit to be used in any given advertising medium.


See "customer relationship management."


The business model of outsourcing to crowds.


See "cascading style sheets."


See "click-through rate."

Customer relationship management (CRM)

How a company manages data about its customers.

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DAGMAR (defining advertising goals for measured advertising results)

Refers to a process of establishing goals for an ad campaign in a way that makes it possible to determine whether or not the goals have been met.


Time periods of the broadcast day. Television dayparts include daytime, early fringe, prime time, etc. Radio dayparts include morning drive, midday, afternoon drive, etc.

Deep link

A link that leads to another page on the same Web site. This is also known as an internal link.

Defeating cache

See "cache bursting."


Delicious, formerly, is a social tagging Web site that allows members to locate, mark, archive and share content on the Web that they find interesting. Like other social tagging sites, Delicious also serves as a go-anywhere favorites menu, so members can access the sites they bookmark from any computer.


The characteristics that, from a marketing standpoint, define a person or a market segment. Typical representative characteristics include age, sex, income, education, marital status, home ownership, family size, etc.

Designated market area (DMA)

The geographic area surrounding a city in which the broadcasting stations based in that city account for a greater share of the listening or viewing households than do broadcasting stations based in other nearby cities.

Digg is a social tagging Web site where people can find, save and share any piece of content on the Web. Members, or so-called "diggers," dig up their favorite sites and post them on the Digg database for others to discover. Therefore, all the content found on Digg is user-generated, or contributed by members. If a Web site, blog, image or online film receives enough exposure, it can be bumped up to the Digg home page.

Digibeta videotape

Beta (also called Beta SP) is the videotape format most widely used for television broadcast and high-quality video production. Digibeta is a newer digital form of Beta tape that is increasingly being used.

Direct marketing

The process by which an advertiser sends its advertising message directly to its customers or potential customers. Two popular forms of this are direct marketing by telephone and mail.

Direct response

A type of advertisement that allows recipients to respond directly to the sender to order a product or service or get more information. Common methods of response include mail, telephone and e-mail.


See "designated market area."

Drive time

The peak periods for radio listenership. Drive time is normally 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., when people are driving to and from work.

Duplicate content

Content that is repeated verbatim or closely repeated on another area of the Web. Because search engines rely on organization and efficiency, they will not index duplicate content so as to avoid index clutter. When you are creating new content for your Web site, steer clear of duplicate content in all forms; this means no copied and pasted content in an attempt to make your site appear fuller, and taking the time to make sure that all of your content is unique and relevant.

Dynamic content

Content that changes over time.


One or more copies of an audio or video recording.

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Early fringe

The television daypart between daytime and prime time, generally 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Earned media

The positive news coverage that you actively work to get by creating and pitching newsworthy stories, events or announcements to news outlets in your area to help reach target audiences with specific messages.

Earned rate

A discounted media rate, based on volume or frequency of media placement.

Editorial calendar

The listing of specific times a publication will feature special topics, sections or news reporting.


A specific advertisement. There may be several different executions within the same advertising strategy.

Execution style

Tone of the advertisement (e.g., humorous, serious, etc.)

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A top social networking Web site that was originally created as an online community for college students. Following its launch in 2004, the network opened up to other types of members, including high school students and business employees. Today, the platform is open to the general public.


See "Federal Communications Commission."

Feature article

A broad or in-depth newspaper, magazine, Internet, radio or TV story that discusses, analyzes or interprets an issue, subject or trend. A feature generally takes longer to research and produce than a news story.

Federal Communications Commission (FCC)

The federal agency responsible for regulating broadcast and electronic communications.

Fixed-sum-per-unit method

A method of determining an advertising budget based directly on the number of units sold.

Flat rate

A uniform charge for advertising space or time, with no discounts for volume or frequency.


A popular photo-sharing Web site that allows members to upload their own photos into customizable albums that can then be labeled, organized, tagged and publicly posted. Flickr, as well as many other photo hosting Web sites, provides image URLs for every file that is uploaded, and these image URLs can then be used to embed a photo in a Web site, social networking profile, blog post or e-mail.


A period of time during which commercials or ads are scheduled and run.

Forced click

Type of click-through that is forced on visitors without their consent.


A location mapping and social networking service that allows users to let their friends know what they are up to by checking in to different venues. This is great for businesses as it helps them track consumers’ whereabouts as well as the things they are saying about each venue.


The number of times people (or homes) are exposed to an advertising message or campaign, typically measured over a four-week period.

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Showing ads or content based on the geographic location of the Internet user.


Person writing articles, opinion columns or speeches for another person who claims authorship.


A search engine used by hundreds of millions of people every day to locate information on the Internet. Google has developed a variety of technologies, including PageRank, that continue to revolutionize the Internet, as well as advertising platforms such as AdSense and AdWords.

Google AdSense

An online advertising program that crawls your on-page content in search of relevant keywords and generates related text and image ads, displaying them on your Web site. When browsers click one of the ads, you can earn money based on the campaign price you set with Google.

Google AdWords

Google's pay per click program that allows advertisers to create ads and have them displayed on Google search engine results pages (SERPs) when corresponding keywords are entered by a user.

Google Alert

A free service that sends subscribers e-mail updates of the most recent, relevant Google results based on the selection of their interests.

Google Base

A database created by Google that allows users to submit all types of content into various predefined categories. For example, a user might upload retail product listings through Google Base, and those products would then be able to be located through Google's product comparison search engine, Google Product Search.

Google Doodle

A creative way for Google to showcase current holidays, famous birthdays, notable inventions, major events or even its own updates through the Google logo. Google Doodle logos include both static and interactive logos.

Google Product Search

Formerly called Froogle, Google's product comparison search engine allows users to shop for and compare products. When users enter key terms in the search box, a results page specifically citing product listings is generated. When shoppers click on a product link, they are directed to the corresponding e-commerce Web site that retails that product. Online sellers can upload their products to Google Base and have their items come up in Google Product Search listings for more exposure online.

Google Site map

A webmaster tool developed by Google to help streamline the submission of Web pages to its search engine. Submitting a site map allows search engines to have a complete list of every Web page associated with your Web site, which is very important for ensuring site visibility. Yahoo has developed a similar tool called Yahoo Site Explorer to allow webmasters to submit a complete listing of their Web pages to the Yahoo search engine. Both submissions utilize the XML protocol standard.


Google's "spider" that crawls the Internet and indexes Web pages according to its algorithm.

Gross audience

The audience for all vehicles or media in a campaign combined. Some or much of the gross audience may actually represent duplicated audience.

Gross impressions

Total number of people or households delivered by a given media schedule without regard to duplication.

Gross rating points (GRPs)

Ratings are an estimate of the percentage of individuals or households that will be exposed to a television or radio commercial. Each TV program or radio daypart delivers a specified number of rating points. GRPs are the total of all ratings delivered by a given media buy or schedule.

Guaranteed circulation

A minimum circulation level guaranteed to print publications.

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Half run

Placement of a transit advertisement in every other car of a transit system. Also referred to as a "half showing."

Heavy up

To increase advertising delivery above the average level during a specific period of an extended campaign.

Holding fees

In paid broadcast and cable television advertising, fees paid to retain principal performers in commercials. These are paid in 13-week cycles, regardless of whether the commercials are actually aired. There are no holding fees for radio.

Holding power

The ability to keep audiences throughout a broadcast, rather than having them change channels. It is represented as a percentage of the total audience.

Holdover audience

The percentage of a program's audience that watched or listened to the immediately preceding program on the same station. Also called "inherited audience."

Households using television (HUT)

The number of households in a given market watching television at a certain time. This term is used by Nielsen Media Research.

HTML (hypertext markup language)

A computer programming language that helps control the format of a document's content and design on the World Wide Web. An HTML editor is a software program that enables one to easily create HTML pages.


A newly revised standard for presenting data on the World Wide Web. Although it is still under development, HTML5 is next in line for the HTML standard. New features include a better way to view video playback as well as virtual drag-and-drop, which is currently dependent upon third-party browser plug-ins.

Human-powered search engines

Web sites that have actual people searching for and answering your questions, rather than typical search engines consisting of computerized programs crawling the web to find your answers.

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Inbound link

A link on a Web site that leads to your own page. Acquiring inbound links from reputable sites, such as Google, is very helpful because it shows browsers that a reputable source trusts and enjoys your site enough to link to it. Reputable inbound links help increase page rank and, by extension, help increase visibility, traffic and credibility.

Incentivized click

A type of click-through in which the person clicking on the advertisement does so in order to receive some reward. Often results in low visitor quality.

Incentivized landing page

In reference to Facebook fan pages, refers to a specific tab to which people who aren’t already fans will be directed. On this page, your company should offer something in return for the person "liking" your fan page. For example, your landing page can tell users that by clicking the like button, they will receive an instant coupon, discount or even product, depending on the size and nature of your company.


A paid commercial that is very similar in appearance to a news program, talk show, or other nonadvertising program content. The broadcast version of an "advertorial."


Printed sheets of paper, often inserted into magazines and newspapers, that carry an advertising message. Many companies use inserts to reach their target audiences.

Inserted marketing communication (IMC)

More commonly referred to as "integrated marketing communications." A management concept designed to make all aspects of marketing communication (e.g., advertising, sales promotion, public relations and direct marketing) work together as a unified force, rather than permitting each to work in isolation.

Insertion order (IO)

The contract between a media buyer and the media property selling the advertising.


From the words interactive and commercial. A short video ad that is presented to online users between Web pages while they are waiting for the next page to load.

Internet marketing

Internet marketing or digital marketing is the act of trying to achieve marketing objectives through electronic or digital means. Most Internet marketing campaigns are performed through the use of Internet-based technologies, including PPC ads, e-newsletters, paid search and social networks.


An intrusive type of advertisement that loads between Web pages without having been requested by the visitor. Similar to superstitials except they do not load in the background.

International Standard Commercial Identification (ISCI) code

Now called ad codes. Letters and numbers labeling the physical tape, slate and box of a commercial. These codes are imperative in trafficking commercials to TV and radio stations.


See "insertion order."

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Spacing between the letters of a word.

Key line

The expiration date of advertising materials. Kill dates notify media outlets that an advertisement should not be broadcast or placed after that date.

Key message

The main idea the advertisement is intended to convey.


A word or phrase entered by the viewer into a search engine in an effort to get the search engine to return matching and relevant results. Many Web sites offer advertising based on keyword targeting so an advertiser's banner will show only when specific keywords are entered.

Keyword density

The measurement of how frequently any given keyword appears within a Web page. Too high a density can result in a Web page being classified as spam while too low a density will cause a page to not be indexed as well for the given keyword.

Keyword stuffing

The act of plugging an abundance of the same keywords and keyword phrases into your Web site body content and meta tags in an attempt to artificially boost your rank on search engine results pages. Keyword stuffing your Web pages is not a good idea. Not only will you frustrate readers with your redundancy, you stand a good chance of being labeled a spammer by top search engines, and your page rank could decrease as a result. Implementing keywords throughout your page content and meta tags is important, but should be done in moderation.

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Landing page

The page on a website where one is taken after clicking on an advertisement. While this can be any page, it is often a page designed to expand on the service or product mentioned in the initial advertisement.

Late fringe

The television time period that immediately follows the late news, generally 11:30 p.m. to 1 a.m.

Lead time

The period between when an ad is required to be submitted to the media outlet and when it actually runs.


The space between the lines of body copy in a print ad or brochure (pronounced "ledding" rather than "leading"). It is so named because the spacing was once made out of lead strips inserted between lines of type.


On radio, a 10- to 20-second pre-recorded or live on-air mention of an advertiser's product or service, usually tied to a promotion.


A social networking Web site geared towards companies and industry professionals seeking to make new business contacts or keep in touch with previous co-workers, affiliates and clients. LinkedIn members can create customizable profiles that detail employment history, business accomplishments, and other professional accolades. LinkedIn also works as a two-way Craigslist platform in that members can search for jobs, and companies interested in hiring new employees can search through member profiles.

Live-announcer spots

A type of radio advertising in which the sponsor (advertiser) supplies a script to be read live on the air by a station announcer or radio personality.

Live-announcer tag

A tag that is read by a radio station disc jockey or announcer, live on-air, after the produced spot has played.

Loyalty index

Frequency of listenership of a particular broadcast station.

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Replacement of a TV or radio spot missed or erroneously scheduled with a spot of equal or better value.

Market research

The systematic gathering, evaluation and analysis of data about consumer preferences and behaviors related to products, services, messages and causes. Good market research can help you determine what is actually reaching and working with your target audience and how to tweak your marketing plans for better results.


The process of packaging, advertising, selling and distributing your products or services, as well as the public relations used to support this process.

Marketing communications

All strategies, tactics and activities involved in getting the desired marketing messages to intended target markets, regardless of the media used.


A term for camera-ready paste-up of artwork. It includes type, photos, line art, overlays, etc., all on one piece of art board.

Media outlet

A publication or broadcast station that transmits news, entertainment and information to the public.

Media plan

A plan that states the media strategies and executions to meet marketing objectives.

Media strategy

A plan of action by an advertiser for bringing advertising messages to the attention of consumers through the use of appropriate media.


The singular of the word "media." Many people now use "media" as a singular collective; rightly or wrongly, it is increasingly accepted.

Metro area

The central metropolitan core of a market, equivalent to the Standard Metropolitan Area (SMA) as defined by the U.S. government.


A term used to describe a series of brief text updates posted on the Internet through a variety of digital channels. People can upload a microblog message (typically 140-character maximum length) through special Web sites, instant message services, mobile SMS messages, etc., and share them with friends, co-workers and online contacts. Microblogging has become popular in recent years because it represents a free, fast and easy-to-use social media tool. People use microblogging services, such as Twitter, to post quick status updates about what they’re doing or what they plan to do.

Milline rate

Used to determine the cost effectiveness of advertising in a newspaper. The milline rate is calculated by multiplying the cost per agate line by one million, then dividing by the circulation. Not a commonly used term. Also referred to as "milline."

Mobile applications

A mobile application, also known as a mobile app, is software that runs on smartphones and mobile phones. Mobile applications are designed to educate, entertain or assist consumers in their daily lives.

Mobile marketing

Just like Internet marketing, involves promoting products or services on the Web. Mobile marketing refers to any marketing that is done through mobile devices.

Motivation research

Used to investigate the psychological reasons why individuals buy specific types of merchandise, or why they respond to specific advertising appeals, to determine the base of brand choices and product preferences.


A top social networking Web site that members use to create customizable profiles, connect with friends, and share photos, music, videos, news bulletins and even blogs. MySpace was created in 2003 and attracts more than 230,000 unique users daily.

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National Advertising Division of the Council of Better Business Bureaus (NAD)

An organization that serves as a major self-regulatory mechanism for advertising.


Used to describe local, special-interest programming that is designed for small, select audiences.

Net unduplicated audience

The combined cumulative audience exposed to an advertisement.


Media outlets whose audiences are nationwide.

Nielsen ratings

A.C. Nielsen is a marketing and media research company that conducts diary surveys to measure national and local TV viewing habits.

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Op-ed piece

Article written by an expert that is positioned on the page opposite the editorial page, where most opinion and commentary articles are usually placed. Not to be confused with letters to the editor.

Open end

Can refer either to time left at the end of a commercial or program that is provided for the use of local advertising or station identification, or a radio or television program with no specific time to end.


Agreement by a person to receive information or advertising via e-mail.

Organic search results

The links that appear on a given search engine results page that are not sponsored ads. Search engine algorithms rank and display organic search results on their pages based on their relevance to the search keywords entered in a query.

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A type of algorithm that specifically measures link analysis. It assigns Web sites a numerical value based on relevance and reputation. Many algorithms rank Web sites in a similar manner, but PageRank is a special version used solely by Google. The Google PageRank system rates Web sites on a 0 to 10 scale, with 0 the least relevant and 10 the most relevant. Sites with a high PageRank are often more reliable and receive more traffic than those with a low PageRank.

Paid search

Sponsored search results or ads displayed on search engine results pages as a prepaid campaign promoting an advertiser's service or Web site. These sponsored ads often appear above or alongside the organic search results. Programs such as Google AdWords allow advertisers to bid on keywords they want to match up with their advertisement. When a user enters one of those keywords in a search query, the advertiser's link and a brief description may appear on the results page. If the user clicks on the link, the advertiser is paid a certain amount of money associated with the PPC campaign.

Pass-along readers

Readers of a publication who are not the primary readers who originally purchased or received the publication.


A popular e-commerce business that allows users to make online payments through its electronic platform. Rather than enter credit card information for every individual online transaction, users can create PayPal accounts and opt to pay through its electronic database, automatically drawing on the credit information initially included in the account. PayPal is an environmentally friendly electronic alternative to traditional paper payment methods such as checks and money orders.

A Web site for businesses seeking to have their services or products reviewed as well as bloggers seeking pay for content production. This form of sponsored advertising has become more common over recent years, but not without negative feedback, particularly from bloggers and blog readers. Some are concerned that because bloggers are paid to write reviews, the posts may be biased. and its advertising customers reserve the right to reject a review if it does not meet their standards. Bloggers are required to clearly indicate somewhere in the post that it is a paid advertisement, so as not to confuse readers.


The extent to which a newspaper advertisement reaches a particular audience. Usually expressed as a percentage of the total target population.

Permission-based marketing

Marketing to people who have given their permission to receive information or advertising.

Persons using television (PUT)

A percentage of all persons in a certain viewing area who are watching TV during a specific time period. Used by Nielsen Media Research.

Photo board

A sheet containing a number of frames and the script for a television commercial. Also known as a storyboard.

Post analysis (post buys)

An analysis of a media schedule after it runs, generally based on physical evidence of its running that identifies the exact times, dates, programs, and estimated dollar value of the airtime in which the advertisers' commercials were broadcast. The analysis usually incorporates audience delivery estimates based on the time the schedule ran.

Preferred position

An advertising position within a publication or within a block of television ads for which the advertiser may pay a premium price. For instance, the back cover, inside back cover and inside front cover of a magazine are typically preferred positions.

Press conference

The live dissemination of news information by an organization to invited media. The format is usually a presentation of information by the organization followed by a question and answer session. Also known as a news conference.

Press pack, press kit

A branded pack handed out to the media by an organization. It normally contains background material, photographs, illustrations and news releases.

Press release

A written communication sent to all news media. Also known as a news release.

Prime access

The television time period that falls between the evening news and prime time, generally 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Prime time

The television time period each night that typically reaches the broadest number of TV viewers, generally 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday.

Public relations (PR)

Communication with various sectors of the public to influence their attitudes and opinions in the interest of promoting a person, product or idea.

Public service announcement or advertisement (PSA)

A commercial or liner that promotes programs, activities or services regarded as serving community interests. PSAs are generally sponsored by a nonprofit institution, civic group, religious organization, trade association, or political group and are usually carried by stations free of charge, but only at times determined by the station.


Advertising research involving study of the relationship between a viewer's pupil dilation and the interest factor of visual stimuli.

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A computer-generated report ranking each radio station in a market, by daypart, from highest to lowest for selected demographic audiences. For television, individual programs are ranked by daypart for specified demographic audiences.


The number or percentage of a population group (demographic) exposed to a media schedule within a given period of time in a specified geographic area.

Readers per copy (RPC)

The number of individuals who read a single copy of a publication, since a publication may have multiple readers in a single household or workplace.

RSS (real simple syndication)

An XML-based format for sharing content among different Web sites. Web sites can utilize RSS technology to syndicate content feeds from other sites, and users can utilize an RSS reader to download feeds in an easy-to-view format. Many blogs and news aggregate Web sites utilize RSS to distribute content to their readers.

Real time

The capacity of computing systems to update information at the same time that it is received. For example, Twitter is a social media platform that operates in real time to update streams on a user's timeline.


Once a commercial has been released and the client decides to use it again, the commercial must be reinstated. A reinstatement requires the minimum of two back holding fees, only one of which can be applied to use. However, agents usually try to negotiate for more.


Fees paid to talent for continued use of a commercial after the session fee payment.

Return on investment (ROI)

Generally refers to advertisers’ desire to have measurable return (e.g., sales, increased safety belt usage, etc.) on the advertising funds they invest.

Rich media

A type of advertising technology that often includes richer graphics, audio or video within the advertisement. Unlike static or animated GIF banner ads, rich media ads often enable users to interact with the banner without leaving the page on which it appears. Some popular types of rich media banners are created with HTML, Shockwave and Flash.


A type of advertisement that covers a prescribed period of time but does not indicate any specific programming. For example, cable TV is often sold on daypart rotators such as Monday-Friday, 4 p.m.-midnight. It is not unusual to allocate a portion of your buy to a rotator. When your agency receives the affidavit, make sure it checks for an even distribution of spots over this time period. You may find your spots were clustered from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. and from 11 p.m. to midnight with very few running in prime time (8 p.m. -11 p.m.). If you discover this has happened and bring it to the station's attention, you will find your next rotation distributed far more equitably.

Rough cut

A preliminary arrangement of film or tape shots that are roughly edited together, sometimes without voice-over or music, for evaluation in the early stages of editing.

Run of site (ROS)

When advertisers buy an ROS package on a Web site, their ads will rotate throughout different sections of the site.

Run of station (ROS)

When advertisers buy an ROS package on a TV or radio station, their spots will rotate in different dayparts throughout the day.

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Search engine

A tool used to search, locate and access Web sites on the Internet. Users can go to a search engine, enter keywords or key phrases, and the search engine will generate results pages with clickable links that correspond to the query terms.

Search engine marketing (SEM)

A branch of e-marketing that works to increase the rank, traffic and success of a Web site by increasing visibility on search engine results pages.

Search engine optimization (SEO)

The practice of promoting a Web site through a search engine's organic listings.

Search engine result page (SERP)

The page generated by a given query in a search engine. For example, if you enter "digital camera" into a search engine, the list of links and Web sites you are taken to is that keyword's SERP. The order in which Web sites are ranked on SERPs varies based on search engine algorithms, link popularity, Web site traffic and various other factors.

Section 508

An addition to the Workforce Rehabilitation Act that requires electronic and information technology developed by, purchased by, or associated with federal agencies to be fully accessible to persons with disabilities. For example, people with vision and hearing impairments can access and understand text content and images if those items are accompanied by descriptive tags, and they can understand videos that are accompanied by text transcripts or closed captions. People with physical disabilities who are unable to use a mouse can successfully navigate Web sites if the sites provide simple navigation using only the keyboard. Currently, Section 508 compliance is mandatory only for government-affiliated Web sites, but e-business and other Web site owners are starting to do their part to contribute to total online accessibility.

Session fee

Initial payment to the talent for work performed for a specific purpose and period of time. It is paid by the day or by the hour, depending on the type of employment.


See "search engine optimization."

Share of voice (SOV)

This tells advertisers their share of the total advertising dollars for their particular category during a certain period of time in a given market. For example, if, in the quick service restaurant (QSR) category, McDonald's is spending $20,000 per week and the total dollars spent for all QSRs is $100,000, then McDonald's share of voice would be 20 percent. Also referred to as share of spending.

Share of audience

The portion of an audiences that is tuned in to a particular medium at a given time. For example, the number of people watching television on a particular station between the hours of 8 p.m. and 11 p.m.


Any entity that employs union talent and has signed union letters of agreement to abide by regulations stipulated in specific union contracts.

Site map submission

The act of submitting an XML site map file to Google, Yahoo, MSN and the other major search engines. Submitting a site map allows search engines to have a complete list of every Web page associated with your Web site, which is very important for ensuring site visibility.

Social graph

A term coined by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg that refers to the relationship, interaction and global mapping of individuals and how they all relate to one another. Social graphing is vital to social search.

Social marketing

The use by nonprofit, government or other public organizations of the same professional marketing techniques used by commercial marketers to positively impact societal behavior (e.g., don't drive impaired, stop smoking, don’t use illegal drugs, wear your seat belt, etc.)

Social media

Often used as another term for user-generated content. Social media can also describe special Internet-based tools that allow and encourage users to interact with one another across the Web. Many Web sites are now making an effort to provide more interactive tools, features and platforms that visitors can use to share a variety of content, such as consumer feedback in the form of text comments, images, and videos.

Social media optimization (SMO)

The process of optimizing a company's social role on the Web in order to increase business, boost sales, and enhance visibility, traffic and overall web presence. SMO differs from SEO in that the underlying goal of SMO is to generate company awareness from channels other than search engines. SMO seeks to generate company success by stimulating a social buzz about the company's Web site through a variety of social media tools, services and platforms. Some of the most popular methods of SMO include content distribution through blogs, vlogs, social networks, RSS feeds, and third-party applications or widgets.

Social media release (SMR)

Press release format designed for the online media world with links, videos and pictures. An SMR can be shared and commented on in social bookmarking, microblogging, and social networking communities.

Specialized publication

Industry-specific trade or professional publication (manufacturing, insurance, telecommunications, etc.)


A software program that automatically follows links on the World Wide Web. The most common types of spiders are those used by search engines for the purpose of indexing Web pages. Many spiders follow banner links, thus overcounting click-throughs.

Spill in

Term used when people in a budgeted market are exposed to advertising from another market. One of the major reasons for this is that not all network TV affiliates are always present in each market, and therefore people from one market need to watch the affiliate from another to view the desired programs. Hyphenated when used as a noun (the "spill-in") or adjective (the "spill-in" factor).


A radio or TV commercial, 10, 15, 30 or 60 seconds in length.

Sweep periods

Usually called "sweeps" or "sweeps weeks." The survey periods during which local audience levels are officially measured (by A.C. Nielsen or Arbitron) for TV and radio ratings.

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The sponsor's identification, and in some cases, contact information.


A slogan or phrase that conveys the most important product, attribute or benefit the advertiser wishes to convey. Generally, a theme for a campaign.

Target audience

The population segment (demographic group) identified as the most appropriate audience for a particular advertising campaign. It is the audience the advertiser would most like to reach with a message, brand, product or service offered.

Testing and Research

Results from focus groups and other market research to gauge the potential effectiveness of a message, concept or advertisement.


See "top level domain."

Top level domain (TLD)

The domain name extension that follows a domain name. For example, in the United States .com is used for businesses, .edu for educational institutions, .net for networking companies, .gov for government agencies, .mil for the military, and .org for nonprofit organizations. In addition, most countries have been assigned a two-letter TLD, such as .ca for Canada and .uk for United Kingdom.


If you are running more than one spot and instruct the station on the correct rotation of those spots, the affidavit will let you know the exact rotation of the spots that ran.


Coordinating and processing the delivery of creative material to the advertising medium. This process includes printed instructions given to a medium on how creative materials should be inserted into the medium, e.g., instructions for which commercial should air in which program at what time.


Written outline of a radio or TV broadcast about a client.


The name for the brief status updates posted in Twitter microblogs. Tweets can be about anything – a link to a new Web site you like, a memo about what you plan to do, a note about how you feel – essentially any message of 140 characters or less that you want to spread across the Internet. See also "Twitter."


A free microblogging service on the Internet that allows members to publish updates of 140 characters maximum, also known as "tweets," about themselves to keep their friends and followers in the loop at all times. Twitter can be great for online companies because it generates instant awareness every time a member "tweets" about a company-related event. E-commerce site owners can also benefit from Twitter, which allows them to post information on spontaneous sales, clearances and new products.

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Unique visitors

The total number of visitors to a site over a certain time period. The only way to accurately track this is to require each visitor to log in with a unique user name to gain access to a site. Relying exclusively on IP addresses in a log file is not recommended as it does not take into consideration multiple users accessing a site through the same IP address, as would happen at companies and schools. "Cookies" are also sometimes used, but since they can be disabled or cached, they cannot be relied on exclusively.


All people or target audiences who are prospects for a specific product, service or message.


When commercials air during higher-rated viewing dayparts instead of during the lower-rated dayparts as purchased.

Usage fee

The practice of assigning each city in the U.S. points based on population. An actor's residuals on television commercials are calculated based on the accumulation of these points in 13-week cycles.

Use cycles

Cable use: Any use on cable stations. Internet use: Commercials used on a Web site or on the Internet. Network use: Use bought on a TV network and usually edited into a network show. Public use: Use of a commercial in a public place, such as in a stadium, a bank, on Diamondvision, or in taxis. Wild spot use: Use bought for airing in individual markets or on non-interconnected stations.

User-generated content

Describes content that is created, contributed and distributed by regular Web users. Many Web 2.0 technology-based Web sites and social networking Web sites are built on a foundation of user-generated content. For example, a blog is composed completely of content written and posted by a user.

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Any promotion or advertising unit (program sponsorships, liners, no-charge spots, print ads in a station's promotional materials, etc.) where the cost is more or less absorbed in the media buy. Value-added promotions or units are usually offered as a reward to good advertisers and provided at no additional cost.

Values and lifestyles (VALS) research

A research method that groups consumers based on characteristics such as their values, psychology, lifestyles and demographics.

Vertical search

Also known as "domain-specific search." A special type of search engine on the Internet that falls under the umbrella term "specialized search," and refers to a search engine that generates industry-specific results. This is useful when surfers are looking for specific types of content in a hurry. Wikipedia says, for example, that a medical search engine performing vertical search "would clearly be specialized in terms of its topical focus, whereas a video search engine would seek out results within content that is in a video format."


Type of advertising, usually online, that encourages viewers to pass along the ad, or the link to it, to others.

Viral marketing

Advertising that propagates itself through visitors’ use of a Web site's feature or service. For example, most administrators of free Web-based e-mail accounts attach an advertisement at the end of each e-mail sent by users.


In an Internet context, refers to how visible your Web site is to search engines and browsers. Visibility can be measured through a variety of criteria, including factors like SERP listings and PageRank. Good visibility is important in increasing your Web site traffic, sales, awareness and general exposure. Many SEO and SMO methods are geared toward increasing Web site visibility through technical and interpersonal means.

Vlog (video log)

A weblog that uses video as its chief presentation format. Vlog posts can be accompanied by text, images and additional metadata to provide a context or overview for the video. Vlogs are created by vloggers, while the act itself is referred to as vlogging.

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Wave scheduling

An advertising strategy that consists of scheduling space in the media in intermittent periods, e.g., two weeks on, two weeks off.


The point reached when an advertising campaign loses its effectiveness due to the repeated overplay or oversaturation of the ads.

Web 2.0

The term used to describe the "new generation" of online applications and Internet technologies. Web 2.0 technologies are characterized by social interaction online, user-generated content, third-party widgets or applications, and the development of software that is compatible with a variety of electronic devices, such as a mobile device.


A process whereby sound and/or video is broadcast online. The process can deliver live or prerecorded information. Often advertisements are inserted at the beginning of the broadcast.

Webinar (web-based seminar)

A presentation, lecture or seminar that is conducted online. Webinars can include video, audio, photos, diagrams and more. Webinars are interactive and typically allow users to submit questions and comments before or during the presentation.


Full-screen animated ads accompanied by professional voice-over and sound effects. They usually appear between Web pages for 5 to 30 seconds and are used for branding purposes.

Wire service

News stories, features, etc., sent by direct line to subscribing or member newspapers and radio and television stations. For instance, Reuters and AP (Associated Press) are major wire services.

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Yahoo Site Explorer

A Web tool developed by Yahoo to help streamline the submission of Web pages to its search engine database. Submitting a site map allows search engines to have a complete list of every Web page associated with a Web site, and that is very important for ensuring site visibility. Google offers a similar tool called Google Sitemaps to allow webmasters to submit a complete listing of their Web pages to the Google search engine. Both submissions utilize the XML protocol standard.


One of the most popular video streaming Web sites on the Internet. Created in early 2005 and acquired by Google in 2006, YouTube allows users to upload short video clips featuring everything from music videos to movie trailers to TV show episodes and homemade videos. Members can subscribe to their favorite video feeds using an RSS feed and receive updates when new videos are posted. Many of the videos available on YouTube can be embedded into online social network profiles and e-mails with a special HTML code accompanying the video.



Magazines that are published online instead of in print. Often cover very specific subjects and thus have very targeted readers.

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