From A to B

AAAA(American Association of Advertising Agencies)

A non-profit trade association dedicated to improving and strengthening the advertising agency business. See for more information.

ANA(Association of National Advertisers)

The trade association serving the needs of advertisers and marketers by providing leadership in advertising and marketing trends and best practices. See for more information.

ARF(Advertising Research Foundation)

A nonprofit trade association whose mission is profitable business through effective research and insights. See for more information.


When a user leaves a shopping cart with something in it prior to completing the transaction.


When a Web server does not successfully transfer a unit of content or ad to a browser. This is usually caused by a user hitting the stop button, the ESC key, or clicking on another link prior to the completion of a download.

Activity audit

Independent verification of measured activity for a specified time period. Some of the key metrics validated are ad impressions, page impressions, clicks, total visits and unique users. An activity audit results in a report verifying the metrics. Formerly known as a count audit.


– A commercial message targeted to an advertiser’s customer or prospect.

Ad audience

The number of unique users exposed to an ad within a specified time period.

Ad banner

A graphic image or other media object used as an advertisement. See for voluntary guidelines for banner ads.

Ad blocker

Software on a user’s browser which prevents advertisements from being displayed.

Ad campaign audit

An activity audit for a specific ad campaign.

Ad centric measurement

Audience measurement derived from a third-party ad server’s own server logs.

Ad click

A measurement of the user-initiated action of responding to(such as clicking on)an ad element causing a re-direct to another Web location or another frame or page within the advertisement. There are three types of ad clicks: 1)click-throughs; 2)in-unit clicks; and 3)mouseovers. Ad click-throughs should be tracked and reported as a 302 redirect at the ad server and should filter out robotic activity.

Ad click rate

Ratio of ad clicks to ad impressions.

Ad display/Ad delivered

When an ad is successfully displayed on the user’s computer screen.

Ad download

When an ad is downloaded by a server to a user’s browser. Ads can be requested, but aborted or abandoned before actually being downloaded to the browser, and hence there would be no opportunity to see the ad by the user.


A unique identifier for a computer or site online, usually a URL for a Web site or marked with an @ for an e-mail address. Literally, it is how one computer finds the location of another computer using the Internet.

Ad impression

1) An ad which is served to a user’s browser. Ads can be requested by the user’s browser(referred to as pulled ads)or they can be pushed, such as e-mailed ads;
2) A measurement of responses from an ad delivery system to an ad request from the user’s browser, which is filtered from robotic activity and is recorded at a point as late as possible in the process of delivery of the creative material to the user’s browser–therefore closest to the actual opportunity to see by the user. Two methods are used to deliver ad content to the user-a)server-initiated and b)client-initiated. Server-initiated ad counting uses the publisher’s Web content server for making requests, formatting and re-directing content. Client-initiated ad counting relies on the user’s browser to perform these activities. For organizations that use a server-initiated ad counting method, counting should occur subsequent to the ad response at either the publisher’s ad server or the Web content server. For organizations using a client-initiated ad counting method, counting should occur at the publisher’s ad server or third-party ad server, subsequent to the ad request, or later, in the process. See for ad campaign measurement guidelines.

Ad impression ratio

Click-throughs divided by ad impressions. See click rate.

Ad insertion

When an ad is inserted in a document and recorded by the ad server.

Ad materials

The creative artwork, copy, active URLs and active target sites which are due to the seller prior to the initiation of the ad campaign.

Ad network

An aggregator or broker of advertising inventory for many sites. Ad networks are the sales representatives for the Web sites within the network.

Ad recall

A measure of advertising effectiveness in which a sample of respondents are exposed to an ad and then at a later point in time are asked if they recall the ad. Ad recall can be on an aided or unaided basis. Aided ad recall is when the respondent is told the name of the brand or category being advertised.

Ad request

The request for an advertisement as a direct result of a user’s action as recorded by the ad server. Ad requests can come directly from the user’s browser or from an intermediate Internet resource, such as a Web content server.

Ad serving

The delivery of ads by a server to an end user’s computer on which the ads are then displayed by a browser and/or cached. Ad serving is normally performed either by a Web publisher, or by a third-party ad server. Ads can be embedded in the page or served separately.

Ad space

The location on a page of a site in which an advertisement can be placed. Each space on a site is uniquely identified. Multiple ad spaces can exist on a single page.

Ad stream

The series of ads displayed by the user during a single visit to a site(also impression stream).

Ad transfers

The successful display of an advertiser’s Web site after the user clicked on an ad. When a user clicks on an advertisement, a click-through is recorded and re-directs or “transfers” the user’s browser to an advertiser’s Web site. If the user successfully displays the advertiser’s Web site, an ad transfer is recorded.

Ad view

When the ad is actually seen by the user. Note this is not measurable today. The best approximation today is provided by ad displays.

Ad window

Separate from the content window.


The company paying for the advertisement.

Advertising revenue

Revenue realized from the sale of advertising. See interactive advertising revenue.

Affiliate marketing

An agreement between two sites in which one site(the affiliate)agrees to feature content or an ad designed to drive traffic to another site. In return, the affiliate receives a percentage of sales or some other form of compensation generated by that traffic.

Affinity marketing

Selling products or services to customers on the basis of their established buying patterns. The offer can be communicated by e-mail promotions, online or offline advertising.

Alternate text

A word or phrase that is displayed when a user has image loading disabled in their browser or when a user abandons a page by hitting “stop” in their browser prior to the transfer of all images. Also appears as “balloon text” when a user lets their mouse rest over an image.

Animated advertisement

An ad that changes over time. For example, an animated ad is an interactive Java applet or Shockwave or GIF89a file.

Animated GIF

An animation created by combining multiple GIF images in one file. The result is multiple images, displayed one after another, that give the appearance of movement.


An intermediary which prevents Web sites from seeing a user’s Internet Protocol(IP)address.


A small, self-contained software application that is most often used by browsers to automatically display animation and/or to perform database queries requested by the user.

Applicable browser

Any browser an ad will impact, regardless of whether it will play the ad.


Distortion that is introduced into audio or video by the compression algorithm(codec). Compressed images may have stray pixels(often white dots)that were not present in the original image. See codec.

Aspect ratio

The width-to-height ratio of the picture frame. TV broadcasts at a 4:3(1.33:1)aspect ratio; digital TV will be broadcast with a 16:9(1.78:1)ratio; and most feature films are shot in at least a 1.85:1 ratio. IMUs have an aspect ratio of 6:5(330x 250; 336 x 280; and 180 x 150).


Third party validation of log activity and/or measurement process associated with Internet activity/advertising. Activity audits validate measurement counts. Process audits validate internal controls associated with measurement.


A third party independent organization that performs audits.


A central network connecting other networks together.


1) The transmission rate of a communications line or system, expressed either as cycles per second/hertz for analog lines, or as bits(bps)or kilobits per second(Kbps)for digital systems;
2) Line speed;
3) The amount of information that can be transmitted over communications lines at one time.

Bandwidth competition

A bottleneck, however brief, when two or more files are simultaneously transmitted over a single line. Unless the system is able to prioritize among the files, the effect is to slow delivery of each.


A graphic image displayed on an HTML page used as an ad. See for voluntary guidelines defining specifications of banner ads.


The exchange of goods and services without the use of cash. The value of the barter is the dollar value of the goods and services being exchanged for advertising. This is a recognized form of revenue under GAAP(Generally Accepted Accounting Principles).


Businesses whose customers are other businesses.


Businesses whose major customers are consumers.

BBS(Bulletin Board System)

Software that enables users to log into e-mail, usenet and chat groups via modem.


A snippet of code placed in an ad, on a Web page, or in an email which helps measure whether the ad, page or email was delivered to the browser and to track actions in general. Also known as a clear GIF or pixel tag.


A test version of a product, such as a Web site or software, prior to final release.


A term referring to any advertisement that is not a banner, e.g. an interstitial, streaming video ads, etc.


The smallest unit of data in a computer. A bit has a single binary value of either 0 or 1. There are eight bits in a byte.

Bit rate

A measure of bandwidth which tells you how fast data is traveling from one place to another on a computer network. Bit rate is usually expressed in kilobits(100 bits)per second or Kbps.

Bonus impressions

Additional ad impressions above the commitments outlined in the approved insertion order.


Short for robot. See intelligent agent, robot.


What happens when e-mails are returned to the mail server as undeliverable.


An Internet connection that delivers a relatively high bit rate-any bit rate at or above 100 Kbps. Cable modems, DSL and ISDN all offer broadband connections.


A software program that can request, download, cache and display documents available on the World Wide Web. Browsers can be either text-based or graphical.

Browser sniffer

See sniffer.


When a streaming media player saves portions of a streaming media file until there is enough information for the stream to begin playing.


1) Clickable graphic that contains certain functionality, such as taking one someplace or executing a program;
2) Buttons can also be ads. See for voluntary guidelines defining specifications of button ads.