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This section has been written to help marketers, agency executives, and publishers understand the evolving language of interactive marketing. Whether you are new to the industry or just looking for a reference, you should find standard definitions in our glossary of advertising terms which has been combined with the help of other IABs worldwide as well as IAB Australia Councils.

To explore the set of definitions, simply click on any of the letters or search by keyword.

If you think we have missed something or that a definition needs an update, just contact us!

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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.

Ad Exchange

Virtual marketplace where participating suppliers auction their impressions to eligible buyers. The ad exchange announces each impressions, in real time, and asks buyers if they are interested to buy said impression and at which price.

Ad Impression

An advertisement impression transpires each time a consumer is exposed to an advertisement.

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 Inventory

Total number of ad impressions that a website can sell over time (usually specified per month).

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

Aggregator or broker of advertising inventory for many sites. Ad networks are the sales representatives for the websites within the network.

Ad recall

Measure of advertising effectiveness in which a sample of respondents is exposed to an ad and then at a later point in time is asked if they remember 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

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 Rotation

When advertisements are changed on a website for different user sessions. This may be in response to ad targeting or simply displaying different advertisements from those on a list.

Ad Server

Technology that stores display advertisements, delivers them to website visitors in a way that would maximise the Advertiser's (or Publisher's) revenue, monitor campaigns and create reports.

Ad serving

Delivery of online ads by a server to an end user's computer on which the ads are then displayed by a browser and/or cached (ads can be embedded in the page or served separately). Ad serving is normally performed either by a Web publisher or by a third-party ad server. The technology allows different online ads to be served in order to target different audience groups and can serve ads across multiple sites. Ad Technology providers each have their own proprietary models for this.

Ad Space

Area of a web page that is set aside for banner advertising.Each space on a site is uniquely identified. Multiple ad spaces can exist on a single page.

Ad Stack

Ad stack is a collection of tools and services that allow a company to provide all advertising-related services to advertisers.

Ad stream

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

Ad Tracking

Method for recording campaign delivery metrics between adservers. Third party adserving tags or 1x1 tracking pixels are commonly used to facilitate capturing such data.

Ad transfer

The successful display of an advertiser's website 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 website. If the user successfully displays the advertiser's website, an ad transfer is recorded.

Ad Unit

Any defined advertising vehicle that can appear in an ad space inside of an application. For example for the purposes of promoting a commercial brand, product or service.

Ad Verification

Service that confirms if an ad ran only where it was intended to by the Advertiser. Often used to ensure brand safety, so that an ad does not appear in an inappropriate place or site.

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