Jargon buster

Click one of the letters above to be taken to a page of all terms beginning with that letter.



The third generation wireless service. Promises to provide high data speeds, always-on data access and greater voice capacity.

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A/B Testing

A/B testing refers to a methodology used by marketers to test two different treatments of a given ad unit, typically isolating a difference in things like email subject lines, headlines, layouts or colour treatments. In A/B testing, the control is typically the creative treatment currently in use and tested against a new variant to better optimise a given campaign. A/B testing helps determine which treatment works better based on key performance indicators like open rates, click-through rates and conversion rates.

Access Platform

A method for customers to access digital media. Depending on usage of term, it may consist of hardware and/or a browser.

Access Provider

A company providing services to enable a company or individual to access the Internet. Access Providers are divided into Internet service providers (ISPs) and online service providers (OSPs).

Acquisition Rate

Percentage of participants who opted in to participate in a digital campaign. The acquisition rate = total participants/total audience. 

Active server page ASP

A script engine first developed by Microsoft that provided the framework for dynamically generated web pages, usually denoted by an .asp file extension. 


A software framework developed by Microsoft that supports content downloads from a network, like the World Wide Web.

Ad Creative

The format, design and content in a particular unit of advertising. In digital media, ad creative may refer to a specific email, a display banner, a video or other piece of branded content. The IAB works both to define standard formats and champion digital creativity’s diversity in its Creative Showcase awards.

Ad exchanges

Online, often highly automated auction-based marketplaces that facilitate the buying and selling of inventory across multiple parties ranging from advertisers, direct publishers, ad networks and Demand Side Platforms (DSP). Watch this explanatory video for more on how this works

Ad Impression

A metric expressing each time an ad is served and displayed, whether it is seen or not, whether it is clicked on or not. 

Ad Inventory

The amount and types of ad space a publisher has available for an advertiser to buy. 

Ad Optimisation

A means of improving campaign performance through automated and semi-automated means, usually through a systematic approach. Ad optimisation often focuses on cost (especially prices in automated bidding), targeting or creative, gleaning performance improvements through testing.  

Ad Rotation

The ability to show multiple ads in a single location, varying the treatment displayed on each new page load and/or within a single page load. Ads are generally rotated to either avoid consumer wear-out or as a part of ad optimisation and testing. 

Ad Server

Technology that serves, tracks and optimises online ads for brands across digital publishers. Ad serving companies can help make online advertising more streamlined for brands by serving as a single point of contact across a number of publishers. Watch this explanatory video for more on how this works

Ad Serving

Delivery of online adverts to an end user’s computer by an ad management system. The system allows different online adverts to be served in order to target different audience groups and can serve adverts across multiple sites. Ad Technology providers each have their own proprietary models for this.

Ad Space

A space within an application that has been reserved for the display of advertising.

Ad Tracking

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

Ad Unit

Any defined vehicle that’s used for promotional messaging and paid for with the intent of promoting a product or service, e.g. a display banner on a publisher’s site, a pre-roll video on a video sharing platform, etc. 


A brand offering a product or service, either to consumers or businesses, that pays for promotional messages to create awareness of the brand or offering.  

Advertising network

Also known as “ad networks,” a company that provides a single point of contact for sales representation for multiple websites by aggregating all the sites’ advertising inventory. Ad networks are used by advertisers, agencies to reach audiences and by publishers, typically to sell remnant inventory. 

Affiliate marketing

When a web site owner or publisher displays an advertisement (such as a banner or a promotional link) on its site for a brand or merchant and is paid for the performance of the advertisement, this is known as affiliate marketing. Affiliate marketing and lead generation activity generate large amounts of online sales in the UK and worldwide. 


An advertising agency is a company that represents brand advertisers by providing services such as strategy and analysis, media planning and buying, and/or creative ideation and production. 


A website or computer application that pulls together information from diverse sources. There are different types of aggregators, in the advertising industry, these notably include content, data, news, social media, and/or video aggregators. 


A set of rules established for making a calculation. Online, algorithms are commonly used to determine the listings shown via search engines and for automated methods of ad trading and delivery.  


Detailed statistics about website or app usage patterns, used by marketers to optimise advertising campaigns, improve user experiences, and understand customer behaviour. One of the most commonly used tools worldwide is Google Analytics, with basic features available for free and premium features available for a fee.

Anchor text

The words forming a text-based hyperlink in web content. In terms of best practice for user experience and for search engine optimisation (SEO), the anchor text should accurately reflect the content users will find if they click on the hyperlink.   


One of the world’s most widely used smartphone platforms, Google’s official, open source, mobile operating system. 


average order value, the average spend per customer


Software solutions that allow PCs, smartphones and tablets to perform useful functions beyond the running of the computing device itself. Commonly called “apps” when referred to in the context of smartphone and tablet devices.  

Application Service Provider (ASP)

In the past, software was frequently stored on a physical medium and uploaded directly to specific machines. Instead, computer services and software can be hosted by a given vendor, or ASP, and accessed by clients via the internet. 


publishers that take advantage of the alternative payment models they are buying and selling leads or sales through

ASA (Advertising Standards Authority)

The Advertising Standards Authority is the UK’s independent regulator of advertising across all media. They apply the Advertising Codes, which are written by the Committees of Advertising Practice. Their work includes acting on complaints and proactively checking the media to take action against misleading, harmful or offensive advertisements.

Attrition Rate

Also known as “churn rate,” this can be used to reflect the percentage of consumers who abandon each stage of the purchase process from exposure to an ad to the point of conversion or, for subscriber-based business models, the percentage of customers who stop using the product or service. This percentage is an important part of evaluating the return on marketing investment and/or customer lifetime value modelling.    


Authentication is the process of attempting to verify the digital identity of the sender of a communication such as a request to log in.  The sender being authenticated, often referred to as the principal, may be a person using a computer, a computer itself or a computer program.


A picture or cartoon used to represent an individual online, in chat forums, games, social media or on other websites.

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B2B (Business to business)

Commercial transactions between an organisation and other organisations.

B2C (Business to consumer)

Commercial transactions between an organisation and consumers.

Background Audio Ad

A background audio clip that is played throughout the MMS message, e.g Jingle.


The transmission rate of a communication line - usually measured in Kilobytes per second (Kbps). This relates to the amount of data that can be carried per second by an internet connection. See also Broadband.


A horizontal, online advert usually found running across the top of a page in a fixed placement. See also Universal Advertising Package, embedded formats.

Banner Ad

Basic ad units that are usually embedded within a site, application or game and come usually in a high-aspect ratio shape such as narrow and tall or short and wide.


Broadcasters Audience Research Board is responsible for the measurement of TV viewing.

Behavioural Retargeting

Online ads are displayed elsewhere on a site or other sites in an ad network after a customer has interacted with an initial ad related content.

Behavioural Targeting

A form of online marketing that uses advertising technology to target web users based on their previous behaviour. Advertising creative and content can be tailored to be of more relevance to a particular user by capturing their previous decision making behaviour (eg: filling out preferences or visiting certain areas of a site frequently) and looking for patterns.


A list of IP addresses that have been reported and listed as "known" sources of spam. There are public and private blacklists. Public blacklists are published and made available to the public.


An online space regularly updated presenting the opinions or activities of one or a group of individuals.


A system which allows messages to be automatically pushed to a consumer’s Bluetooth enabled phone. Alternatively, users can pull or request audio, video or text content to be downloaded from a live advert.


Sending a message from a mobile phone or transmitter to another mobile phone which is in close range via Bluetooth Technology.


A standard for wireless transmission of data between devices, e.g. a mobile phone and a PDA.

Brand advocate

A customer who has favourable perceptions of a brand, who will talk favourably about a brand to their acquaintances to help generate awareness of the brand or influence purchase intent.

Brand equity

The brand assets (or liabilities) linked to a brand’s name and symbol that add to (or subtract from) a service.


An internet connection that is always on and that delivers a higher bit rate (128kbps or above) than a standard dial-up connection. It allows for a better online experience as pages load quickly and users can download items faster.


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


A square online advert usually found embedded within a website page. See also Universal Advertising Package, embedded formats.

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Cache Memory

Used to store web pages users have seen already. When users re-visit those pages they load more quickly because they come from the cache and don't need to be downloaded over the internet again.

Cached date

This is the date when the search robot last visited a page. It is usually indicated within the search engine results page.

Cached pages

Google robots take a snapshot of each page visited as they crawl the web. These are stored and used as a backup if the original page is unavailable.

Call to Action (CTA)

An instruction often embedded in advertising that explains how to respond to an opt-in for a particular promotion or mobile initiative.


CAP (The Committees of Advertising Practice) write and maintain the UK Advertising Codes, which are administered by the Advertising Standards Authority. They also offer the industry authoritative advice and guidance on how to create campaigns that comply with the rules. The IAB sits on CAP.


A company that provides wireless telecommunication services.

Cascading Style Sheet (CSS)

An external document containing code that defines a websites appearance.


Executed via a GPS enabled mobile device that allows a user to declare they are at a specific location.

Classified advertising

A form of advertising which is particularly common in newspapers, online and other periodicals which may be sold or distributed free of charge. Classified advertising is called such because it is generally grouped under headings classifying the product or service being offered (headings such as Accounting, Automobiles, Clothing etc) and is grouped entirely in a distinct section, which makes it distinct from display advertising. Display advertising typically contains graphics or other art work and which is more typically distributed throughout a publication adjacent to editorial content.

Click to Call

A link on a mobile website that when clicked instantly initiates a call from that phone to a pre-specified number.

Click to Play or CTP video ads

These video ads have an initial static image file which is displayed encouraging users to click to view the full video. The proportion of viewers who click is known as the Play Rate.

Click tracking URL

Also known as click through URL or click command. This is used to record the number clicks delivered on an advertising banner. Commonly used when third party adserving is not compatible and run alongside the 1x1 tracking pixel.


The process that takes a mobile subscriber to a jump or landing page once the mobile subscriber has clicked on the link.site.

Click-through rate (CTR)

Used to measure the success of a mobile or online advertising campaign. CTR = number of users who clicked on ad/number of times the ad was delivered.


An arrangement between two or more companies where they agree to jointly display content and perform joint promotion using brand logos or banner advertisements. This can occur without payment.


An amount of income received by a publisher for some quantifiable action such as selling an advertiser’s product and/or service on the publisher’s website.

Common Shortcode (CSC)

Short numeric numbers (typically 4-6 characters) to which text messages can be sent from a mobile phone. Messages sent with relevant words to access a wide variety of mobile content. 

Compact HTML (cHTML)

A subset of HTML for small devices, such as mobile phones.

Confirmed Opt-in

Also referred to as Double Opt-In.  The process that double-checks the desire to be included on an email list after a primary registration occurs. This is typically executed via an email that requires the subscriber to click on a confirmation link, which also serves as a method of positively confirming the validity of the email address.  Anti-spammers and ISPs commonly use this term.

Content Management Systems or CMS

Software tools or web services for creating and amending website content. Typically, CMS are browser-based web applications running on a server. All enable users to readily add new pages within an exisiting page template.

Content Provider (CP)

A company that creates and offers content, e.g. ringtones and games.

Content sponsorship

Advertiser sponsorships of content areas (e.g. entire website, homepage or a specific channel) to include the total value of the package including any embedded or interruptive formats. This category also includes revenue related to email advertising or prioritised listing of results in search engines that are included as part of the sponsorship deal.

Contextual advertising

Advertising that is targeted to the content on the webpage being viewed by a user at that specific time.

Contra deals

A reciprocal agreement in the form of an exchange where payment doesn’t take place, instead services or ad space to promote another company as part of co-branding occurs.


A trend in which different hardware devices such as televisions, computers and telephones merge and have similar functions.

Conversion rate

Measure of success of an online ad when compared to the click-through rate. What defines a ‘conversion’ depends on the marketing objective eg: it can be defined as a sale or request to receive more information.


A descriptor encompassing an end user converting to a paying user or a user that performs an action of some sort.


Information placed on a visitor’s computer or mobile by a web server that can be stored or retrieved when the site is accessed. Used to record a user’s unique behaviour during each visit.

Cookie expiry period

The time stated in an affiliate marketing programme between when a visitor clicks the affiliate link and the sale is credited to the affiliate. Common times are 7, 30 or 90 days. A longer cookie period will result in a higher EPC.

Cookie hierarchy

a technical set up that determines which cookies will override other cookies, and which ones will not

Cost per Acquisition (CPA)

Refers to the overall costs associated with acquiring one user. This can be calculated by dividing total marketing costs by total number of new users.

Cost per Action (CPA)

A pricing model that only charges advertising on an action being conducted eg. a sale or a form being filled in.

Cost per Click (CPC)

The amount paid by an advertiser for a click on their sponsored search listing. See also PPC.

Cost per Mille (CPM) / Cost per Thousand (CPT)

Online advertising can be purchased on the basis of what it costs to show the ad to one thousand viewers (CPM). It is used in marketing as a benchmark to calculate the relative cost of an advertising campaign or an ad message in a given medium. Rather than an absolute cost, CPM estimates the cost per 1,000 views of the ad.

Cost per Thousand Impressions (CTI)

The revenue paid to the publisher by the advertiser for every thousand times the ad is shown.


Customer Relationship Management.

Cross-device tracking

Cross-device tracking refers to technology which enables tracking of users across multiple devices, such as smartphones, tablets, and personal computers. Advertisers use this technology to understand the cumulative effect of their marketing activity across multiple different digital touchpoints.

Customer acquisition

Techniques used to gain new customers.

Customer centric marketing

An approach to marketing based on detailed knowledge of customer behavior within the target audience, which then seeks to fulfill the individual needs and wants of customers.

Customer experience management

The evaluation, design and delivery of the entire online customer experience for transactional e-commerce sites from understanding customer motivations, customer journeys between websites as part of a buying process, the website experience and service quality as indicated by inbound enquiries and fulfillment of products.

Customer profiling

Using a website to find out a customer’s specific interests and characteristics.

Customer retention

Techniques to maintain relationships with existing customers.

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Direct to Consumer.

Data exchanges

Online auction marketplace where advertisers acquire 3rd party data that helps them better reach their target audiences with display.
Data Exchanges were created as marketplaces where Online Data Providers could sell their data directly to DSPs and Ad Networks. Who Uses: Ad Networks, DSPs.

Data Management Platform (DMP)

Platforms that allow advertisers, agencies, publishers and others to control their own first-party audience and campaign data, compare it to third-party audience data, and give the ability to make smarter media buying and campaign planning decisions via behavioural targeting or extending audiences via lookalike modeling.  Advertisers and agencies generally utilise DMPs in order to buy more effectively while publishers typically utilise DMPs in order to segment their audiences and sell more effectively.


A browseable portal of links to content, set as the default home page to the phone’s browser.

Deep-linking advert

linking beyond a home page to a page inside a website with content pertinent to the advert.

Demand-side platform (DSP)

An advertising technology platform which allows marketers to manage their online media campaigns by facilitating the buying of auction-based display media and audience data across multiple inventory and data suppliers in a centralized management platform. Who Uses: Agencies, Marketers, etc.

Digital to Consumer (D2C)

Content and services promoted directly by the provider to the phone end-user.

Direct Billing API

Can be used to customise a purchase process that does not require the user to leave where they are. 


The difference in campaign reporting numbers for key measurements such as impressions and clicks between multiple adservers.

Domain name

The unique name of an internet site eg. http://www.iabuk.net

Double Opt-in

See Confirmed Opt-in

Double Opt-In

Requesting the subscriber to opt-in twice, prior to engaging with the subscriber.


Digital Rights Management is a set of technologies used by publishers and media owners to control access to their digital content. Access can be limited to the number of times a piece of content is accessed from a single machine or user account; the number of times access permissions can be passed on; or the lifespan of a piece of content.

Dynamic ad delivery

The process by which a mobile advertisement is delivered, via a campaign management platform, to a publisher’s mobile content.

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E-Commerce (Electronic Commerce)

Business that takes place over electronic platforms, such as the internet.

EASA (European Advertising Standards Alliance)

The European Advertising Standards Alliance (EASA) is the single authoritative voice on advertising self-regulation issues in Europe and promotes high ethical standards in commercial communications by means of effective self-regulation, while being mindful of national differences of culture, legal and commercial practice. These standards are promoted, for example, via EASA's Advertising Self-Regulatory Charter and EASA's Best Practice Recommendations.

Email bounced

Those emails sent as part of a mailing distribution which did not have a valid recipient email address and so generated a formal failure message.

Embedded format

Advertising formats that are displayed in set spaces on a publisher’s page. See also banners, skyscrapers, button.


A person who accesses and uses a product.

Enhanced Data Rates for GSM Evolution (EDGE)

Final stage in the evolution of the GSM standard. Enables theoretical data speeds of up to 384kbit/s within the existing GSM spectrum.

EPC (Average Earnings Per One Hundred Clicks)

A relative rating that illustrates the ability to convert clicks into commissions. It is calculated by taking commissions earned (or commissions paid) divided by the total number of clicks times 100.

European Interactive Digital Advertising Alliance (EDAA)

The EDAA administers the EU self-regulatory programme aimed at providing internet users with greater transparency and control over behaviourally targeted advertising. The EDAA Board is made up of advertising trade bodies, including the IAB. The IAB currently chairs the EDAA Board.

Expandable banner/skyscraper

Fixed online advertising placements that expand over the page in the response to user action eg: mouseover. See also Rich Media.

Extensible Markup Language (XML)

Primarily used to facilitate the sharing of data across different information systems, particularly via the internet.

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Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)

The FCA regulates the financial services industry in the UK. Their aim is to protect consumers, ensure our industry remains stable and promote healthy competition between financial services providers. The FCA has rule-making, investigative and enforcement powers that they use to protect and regulate the financial services industry.


A virtual profile generated by assembling several pieces of information, often used to track generic patterns of behaviour

Firewall software

Provides security for a computer or local network by preventing unauthorised access. It sits as a barrier between the web and your computer in order to prevent hacking, viruses or unapproved data transfer.

Fixed Mobile Convergence (FMC)

A mobile device that supports both carrier network and WIFI and can switch between each seamlessly.


Web design software that creates animation and interactive elements which are quick to download.

Flash impression

The total number of requests made for pages holding flash-based content by users of that site in the period being measured.

Flash Lite

Adobe’s lightweight version of Flash for mobile devices.


an online community where visitors may read and post topics of common interest.


a structure that allows for the dividing of a webpage into two or more independent parts.

Freemium Model

A type of business model that works by selling basic services, or a basic downloadable digital product, for free, while charging a premium price for advanced or special features.

Frequency cap

restriction on the amount of times a specific visitor is shown a particular advertisement.

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The process of only showing adverts to people on a website and in search engines based on their physical location. This could be done using advanced technology that knows where a computer is located or by using the content of website to determine what a person is looking for, e.g. someone searching for a restaurant in Islington, London.

Global Positioning System (GPS)

System of satellites, computers and receivers that can determine the latitude and longitude of a given receiver located on Earth. Determined by the time it takes signals from different satellites to reach the receiver.


General Packet Radio Service or ‘2.5G’ is an underlying mechanism for mobile networks to deliver Internet browsing, WAP, email and other such content. The user is ‘always connected’ and relatively high data rates can be achieved with most modern phones compared to a dial-up modem. Most phones default to using GPRS (if capable).

Graphic Banners

A graphic mobile ad represented by a banner featuring an image.


Global Standard for Mobiles. The set of standards covering one particular type of mobile phone system.

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Hard Bounces

Email non-delivery notifications that are generated as a result of messages being sent to invalid, closed or nonexistent email accounts


A single request from a web browser for a single item from a web server.

Holding Company

Four major international groups, Omnicom, WPP, Interpublic and Publicis Groupe, that each control a large number of different operating agencies across the globe.

Hot spotting

The ability to add hyperlinks to objects in a video that enable viewers to tag a product or service. Hot spotting can be used as a direct response mechanic in internet video.


HyperText Markup Language, the set of commands used by web browsers to interpret and display page content to users.


A new standard for displaying content on the web through browsers. HTML5 is the new rendition in work of HTML (hypertext markup language) that will be competing directly with Flash and includes features like video playback and drag-and-drop functionality.

Hybrid model

a combination of two or more online marketing payment models.

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IAB Europe

IAB Europe is the Trade Association representing National IAB's across Europe to European decision-makers. IAB UK is represented on the Board of IAB Europe.

ICO (Information Commissioners Office)

From data protection and electronic communications to freedom of information and environmental regulations, the ICO is the UK's independent public body set up to uphold information rights in the public interest, promoting openness by public bodies and data privacy for individuals.

Image ad

An image on a mobile internet site with an active link that can be clicked on by the wireless subscriber. 


Business metric for counting the number of times mobile subscribers have viewed a particular page, mobile ad on an Internet site or embedded within a text message.     

Inbox Placement Rate (IPR)

The percentage of emails that were delivered to the inbox, versus the junk folder. Calculated as Number of Emails Delivered to the Inbox divided by Total Number of Emails Sent.

Information architecture (IA)

the art of expressing a model or concept of information used in activities that require explicit details of complex systems. Among these activities are library systems, Content Management Systems, web development, user interactions, database development, programming, technical writing, enterprise architecture, and critical system software design.

Information on Demand (IOD)

Content delivered in the form of an alert.


Refers to the actual hardware used to deploy your emails or have your emails deployed on your behalf by an Email Service Provider (ESP). The hardware is commonly referred to as your Mailing Transport Agent (MTA).

Instant messaging

Sending messages and chatting with friends or colleagues in real-time when both are online.

Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN)

High-speed dial-up connections to the internet over normal phone lines.

Interactive Voice Response (IVR)

Phone technology that allows a computer to detect voice and touch tones using a normal phone call.

Internet Protocol TV (IPTV)

The use of a broadband connection to stream digital television over the internet to subscribed users.

Internet Service Provider (ISP)

A company which provides users with the means to connect to the internet.

Interruptive formats

Online advertising formats that appear on users' screens on top of web content (and sometimes before web page appears) and range from static, one-page splash screens to full-motion animated advertisements.

Interstitial ads

Appear between two content pages. Also known as splash pages and transition ads.

Interstitial Image Ad

An advertising image that is inserted into the middle of a complete MMS message.

Interstitial Text Ad

A text page that is inserted into the middle of a complete MMS message.

Interstitial Video Ad/Clip

An advertising video that is inserted into the middle of a complete MMS message.


Apple’s official mobile operating system for the iPad, iPhone, iPod and to be announced devices, focusing on gesture based and multi-touch functionality.

IP address

The numerical internet address assigned to each computer on a network so that it can be distinguished from other computers. Expressed as four groups of numbers separated by dots.

IP Address Permanence

An IP address is a unique number assigned to each device connected to the Internet. An IP address can be dynamic, meaning it changes each time an email message or campaign goes out, or it can be static, meaning it does not change. 

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Java ME

Designed to run on mobile devices and embedded systems.


JICWEBS (The Joint Industry Committee for Web Standards in the UK and Ireland) was created by the UK and Ireland media industry to ensure independent development of standards for measuring performance online and benchmarking best practice for online ad trading.

Jump/Landing Page

The page or view to which a user is directed when they click on an active link embedded in a banner, etc. Provided additional information and/or a mechanism to make a purchase.

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A name or word used to distinguish a key message within a Short Code Service.

Keyword Density

The ratio of keywords to non-keywords within page content.

Keyword marketing

The purchase of keywords (or ‘search terms’) by advertisers in search listings.

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LAN (Local Area Network)

A group of computers connected together which are at one physical location.

Landing page (Jump page)

The page or view to which a user is directed when they click on an active link embedded in a banner, web page, email or other view. A click through lands the user on a jump page. Sometimes the landing page is one stage upstream from what would ordinarily be considered the homepage.

Latency Time

The time delay while advertising loads on a page.


When a visitor registers, signs up for, or downloads something on an advertiser’s site. A lead might also comprise a visitor filling out a form on an advertiser’s site.

Location Based Services (LBS)

A range of services that are provided to mobile subscribers based on the geographical location of their handsets, e.g. local deals and sat nav.

Location Information

Information that enables a mobile marketer to identify the specific location of a particular wireless device.


An advertisement or service through which an advertiser’s bricks and mortar location can be identified based on proximity of the consumer or their preferred location).

Log files

A record of all the hits a web server has received over a given period of time.

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Media Smart

MediaSmart is a not for profit company that develops and provides free of charge educational materials to primary schools, they teach children to think critically about advertising in the context of their daily lives.

Meta search engine

search engine that displays results from multiple search engines.

Meta-tags/ descriptions

HTML tags that identify the content of a web page for search engines.


The Mobile Marketing Association – A global non-profit association that strives to stimulate the growth of mobile marketing and its associated technologies.

MMS Message

A message sent via a Multimedia Messaging Service that contains multimedia objects.

Mobile Advertising

A form of advertising that is communicated to the consumer/target via a handset. Most commonly seen as a Mobile Web Banner Ad (top of the page) Mobile Web Poster (bottom of the page banner), full screen interstitial (appears while requested page is loading), SMS and MMS Ads, Mobile Gaming Ad, and Mobile Video Ad.

Mobile Agency Service (MAS)

Technology that underpins the media, planning and buying. Tools are used to track, optimise and report on services.

Mobile Community Service

Enables end-users to communicate through the service, and upload or download content to a private or public space.

Mobile Content

Entertainment, sports and news information and games delivered via any wireless media type in a non-advertising format.

Mobile internet advertising

A form of advertising via mobile phones or other wireless devices (excluding laptops). This type of mobile advertising includes mobile web banner ads, mobile internet sponsorship and interstitials (which appear while a requested mobile web page is loading) as well as mobile paid-for search listings. Mobile internet advertising does not include other forms of mobile marketing such as SMS, MMS and shortcode.

Mobile Marketer

All companies within the mobile ecosystem, including: advertisers, aggregators/distributors, carries, content providers and publishers.

Mobile Marketing

The use of wireless media as an integrated content delivery and direct response vehicle within a cross-media or stand-alone marketing communications program.

Mobile Messaging Programming

Multiple mobile messages, usually delivered as part of a coordinated campaign.

Mobile Search

Executing a search via mobile internet.

Mobile Web

A channel for delivery of web content, which offers and formats content to users in awareness of the mobile context.


A computer file format that compresses audio files up to a factor of 12 from a .wav file.


File format used to compress and transmit video clips online.

Multiple Purpose Units (MPU)

A square online advert usually found embedded in a web page in a fixed placement. Called ‘multiple purpose’ as it is a flexible shaped blank ‘canvas’ in which you can serve flat or more interactive content as desired.

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Native advertising

Digital advertising that works as part of the main content flow of a media owner’s site and, typically, provides audiences with a ‘content experience’. Native ad formats include content curation units, discovery and recommendation units. Some people also describe content marketing such as sponsored or advertising features as native advertising.

Natural search results

The 'natural' search results that appear in a separate section (usually the main body of the page) to the paid listings. The results listed here have not been paid for and are ranked by the search engine (using spiders or algorithms according to relevancy to the term searched on.

Network effect

the phenomenon whereby a service becomes more valuable as more people use it, thereby encouraging ever-increasing numbers of adopters.

Non-Personally Identifiable Information (Non-PII)

Information that may correspond to a particular person, account or profile, but is not sufficient to identify, contact or locate the person.

NTSB (National Trading Standards Board)

The National Trading Standards Board (NTSB) is a group of senior and experienced local government heads of trading standards, representing all trading standards services across England and Wales. The Board has been set up by the Government as part of changes to the consumer protection landscape and an enhanced role for trading standards.


Near Video On Demand service – the delivery of film and television programming from a server via a cable network or the internet. Like VOD these services are nonlinear.

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Ofcom (Office of Communications)

Ofcom is the communications regulator. They regulate the TV and radio sectors, fixed line telecoms, mobiles, postal services, plus the airwaves over which wireless devices operate

Offer Based Ad

A clickable ad with a discount/offer for a product or service.


Ofgem (Office of Gas and Electricity Markets) regulates the monopoly companies which run the gas and electricity networks. It takes decisions on price controls and enforcement, acting in the interests of consumers and helping the industries to achieve environmental improvements.

OFT (Office of Fair Trading)

The OFT's mission was to make markets work well for consumers. They achieve this by promoting and protecting consumer interests throughout the UK, while ensuring that businesses are fair and competitive. The OFT ceases to exist on 1 April 2014.

On Device Portal

Portal infrastructure downloaded to handset, using a technology such as Java or Flash. Some data is cached on device, so no connection is required for the user to browse the basic content set.

Online data providers/data aggregator

The definition of an “Online Data Provider” is broad and includes a number of players and data types, such as companies like Experian (Financial data), Nielsen (demographics and psychographic data) and OwnerIQ (purchase history). Who Uses: Advertisers and their agencies, Ad Networks, DSPs, Data Exchanges. 

Online HD

The delivery of High Definition streamed video media. This typically conforms to 720p standards where 720 represents 720 lines of vertical resolution and p stands for progressive scan.

Online Video Advertising

Video advertising accompanying video content distributed via the internet to be streamed or downloaded onto compatible devices such as computers and mobile phones. In its basic form, this can be TV ads run online, but adverts are increasingly adapted or created specifically to suit online. Video advertising can be placed before (pre-roll), during (mid-roll) and after (post-roll) video content.

Open Rate

The number of HTML message recipients who opened your email, usually as a percentage of the total number of emails sent.


The process where a subscriber provides explicit consent, after receiving notice form the mobile marketer.


The process where a subscriber revokes consent, after receiving notice from the mobile marketer.


Process of refining an advertising campaign so that it will perform more favourably for the advertiser, and extend reach, boost click-throughs and conversions etc.

Organic search results

The ‘natural’ search results that appear in a separate section (usually the main body of the page) to the paid listings. The results listed here have not been paid for and are ranked by the search engine (using spiders or algorithms) according to relevancy to the term searched upon.

OTT (Over the Top)

Access to premium content through any device that connects to the Internet, often marketed as TV Anywhere/TV Everywhere; offers subscribers the ability to watch programming on any device they own

Outbound Link

A link to a site outside the current site.

Over-the-air (OTA)

A method of distributing new software updates to handsets.


Online advertising content that appears over the top of the webpage.

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Page View

Unit of measure that tracks the number of times a user loads a particular web or WAP page.

Paid for listings

The search results list in which advertisers pay to be featured according to the PPC model. This list usually appears in a separate section to the organic search results- usually at the top of the page on the right hand side.

Paid Inclusion

In exchange for a payment, a search engine will guarantee to list/review pages from a website. It is not guaranteed that the pages will rank well for particular queries – this still depends on the search engine's underlying relevancy process.

Paid Search

See PPC.

Palm OS

Palm’s operating system for its devices


ParentPort has been set up by the UK’s media regulators to provide UK parents and guardians with a one-stop-shop for complaints related to children and the media.

Pay for performance program

Also called Affiliate Marketing, Performance-based, Partner Marketing, CPA, or Associate Program. Any type of revenue sharing program where a publisher receives a commission for generating online activity (e.g. leads or sales) for an advertiser.

Pay per lead

The commission structure where the advertiser pays the publisher a flat fee for each qualified lead (customer) that is referred to the advertiser’s website.

Pay per sale

The commission structure where the advertiser pays a percentage or flat fee to the publisher based on the revenue generated by the sale of a product or service to a visitor who came from a publisher site.

Pay per view (PPV)

An ecommerce model that allows media owners to grant consumers access to their programming in return for payment. Micro payments may be used for shorter programming whist feature films may attract larger sums.

Payment threshold

the minimum accumulated commission an affiliate must earn to trigger payment from an affiliate program.

Permission Level

The level of permission a mobile subscriber has granted to a specific carrier or service or wireless content site to receive advertising messages from them.

Personally-Identifiable Information (PII)

Information that can be used to identify or contact a person, including name, address, telephone number, or email address. Can also include demographics or behavioural data.


An illegal method of redirecting traffic from another company’s website (such as a bank) to a fake one designed to look similar in order to steal user details when they try to log in.


An illegal method whereby legitimate looking e-mails (appearing to come from a well-known bank, for example) are used in an attempt to source personal information that can be used to steal a user's identity.


Podcasting involves making an audio file (usually in MP3 format) of content that is available to download to an MP3 player.

Polite loading

Fixed online advertising placements that load and display additional Flash content after the host page on which the advert appears has finished loading.


An ad that appears in a separate window beneath an open window. Pop-under ads are concealed until the top window is closed, moved, resized or minimised.


An online advert that ‘pops up’ in a window over the top of a web page.


The screening of a mobile advertising clip after a mobile TV/Video clip.


pay per click. The payment method used on search engines to enable adverts to appear under keyword searches. Can be used by affiliates as a way to drive traffic


The screening of a mobile advertising clip before a mobile TV/Video clip.

real time, technology driven display activity that enables targeting to specific users instead of buying set inventory
Promotional Content

Content offered at no charge to the consumer, as a sample, to incentivise purchase.


Premium SMS. A text message that is charged at a premium over the standard rate.


A web property providing content for consumers using the internet.  Business models range from subscription services to advertising monetisation.  Publishers that choose to monetise their site with advertising have a choice to sell their inventory through direct, remnant or automated RTB channels. Who uses:  Publishers, Advertisers via direct channels, Agencies via direct channels, Advertisers, Agencies, DSPs, Ad Networks via remnant and automated channels.

Pull Messaging

Any content sent to the wireless subscriber upon request.

Push Messaging

Any content sent by or on behalf of the advertisers to a wireless mobile device at a time other than when a subscriber requests it.

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Query string formation

A query string is the set of words entered into a search engine by an individual. Query string formation is simply the process of thinking of the correct query string to get the results required.

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The number of unique web users potentially seeing a website one or more times in a given time period expressed as a percentage of the total active web population for that period.

Read rate

The percentage of email recipients who have marked your email as "Read" in their email client. Typically thought of as more accurate than Open Rate, since read rate is not dependant on image downloads.

Real time

Information delivered with no delay in the processing of requests, other than the time necessary for the data to travel over the Internet.

Real-time bidding (RTB)

RTB is a protocol that enables the valuation and bidding on individual impressions in real time. The buying takes place over online media exchanges – basically media marketplaces – which connect sellers (publishers) and buyers (advertisers).

Really Simple Syndication (RSS)

The model for content discovery and purchase that is provided by operators on-deck.

Reciprocal links

links between two sites, often based on an agreement by the site owners to exchange links.


The number or percentage of consumers that took advantage of a particular offer.


The likelihood that a given web page will be of interest or useful to a search engine user for a keyword search.

Return days

The number of days an affiliate can earn commission on a conversion (sale or lead) by a referred visitor.

Rich media

The collective name for online advertising formats that use advanced technology to harnesses broadband to build brands. Rich media uses interactive and audio-visual elements to give richer content and a richer experience for the user when interacting with the advert.

Run of network (RON)

An ad buying option in which ad placements may appear on any pages on sites within an ad network.

Run of site (ROS)

An ad buying option in which ad placements may appear on any pages of the target site.

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Sales house

An organisation which sells advertising on behalf of other media owners. Sales houses typically retain a percentage of the revenue they sell in exchange for their services. These organisations may combine a number of websites together and sell them as different packages to advertisers.

Search Discovery

The method by which a consumer finds content of interest. Online or offline.

Search engine marketing (SEM)

Form of marketing that seeks to promote websites by increasing their visibility in search engine results pages.

Search engine optimisation (SEO)

The process of improving the volume and quality of traffic to a mobile web site from search engines via natural search results for targeted keywords.

Search Engine Results Page (SERP)

A page of search results delivered by a search engine.

Sender Reputation

Sender reputation is comprised of domain and IP reputation, and is developed using a variety of metrics, including complaint rate, unknown user rate, volume, and spam trap hits. ISPs consider a sender's reputation when determining inbox vs. junk placement of emails. 

Serial digital interface (SDI)

A dedicated digital video interface used to carry broadcast quality video content.


A host computer which maintains websites, newsgroups and email services.


The time spent between a user starting an application, computer or website and logging off or quitting.

Short Message Service (SMS)

A messaging system that allows sending messages between devices that consist of short code.


Subscriber Identity Module - A removable part the mobile phone hardware that identifies the subscriber.


watching an existing TV service over the internet at the same time as normal transmission.

Site analytics

The reporting and analysis of website activity - in particular user behaviour on the site. All websites have a weblog which can be used for this purpose, but other third party software is available for a more sophisticated service.

Site Tagging

The process of inserting advertisement tags into a mobile web site that allows a mobile campaign management platform to deliver advertisements to the site.


A long, vertical, online advert usually found running down the side of a page in a fixed placement.


A handheld device that integrates mobile phone capabilities with more common features of a handheld computer or PDA.


Short Message Service Centre. A network switch for routing SMS traffic.


Short Message Peer-to-peer Protocol - used for exchanging SMS messages.


Short Message Service.

Sniffer software

Identifies the capabilities of the user’s browser and therefore can determine compatibility with ad formats and serve them an advert they will be able to see/fully interact with (eg: GIF, Flash etc).

Soft Bounces

Email non-delivery notifications that are generated as a result of emails being sent to active (live) addresses but which are turned away before being delivered. 

Software Developer Kit (SDK)

Usually platforms provide developers with a set of development toolkits that enable creation of software packages, frameworks, apps etc. There is usually an SDK for each language that works on the platform that interfaces between the system to the programming language.

Solus email advertising

where the body of the email is determined by the advertiser, including both text and graphical elements, and is sent on their behalf by an email list manager/owner. Solus email advertising is conducted on an opt-in basis where the recipient has given their consent to receive communications.


Unsolicited junk mail.

Spam Complaint Rates

The ratio of unique complaints from an email campaign to the total number of delivered emails, typically expressed as a percentage. Recipients of an email can complain using the "This is Junk/Spam" button in their email software platform.

Spam Traps

Email addresses that have been setup deliberately as accounts that will never be used for sending or receiving email.  Since they are incapable of being used to request information or subscribe to lists, if emails are delivered to these addresses, the originator is assumed to be sending unsolicited mail.


Also known as a bot, robot or crawler. Programs used by a search engine to discover, download and index mobile web content.


Advertiser sponsorships of targeted content areas (e.g. entire website, site area or an event) for promotional purposes.


Signalling System 7. A worldwide standard for telecommunications hardware to talk to each other.

SSP - A Sell-Side Platform (SSP)

A technology platform with the single mission of enabling publishers to manage their ad impression inventory and maximise revenue from digital media. As such they offer an efficient, automated and secure way to tap into the different sources of advertising income that are available, and provide insight into the various revenue streams and audiences.


Measure used to gauge the effectiveness of a site in retaining its users. Usually measured by the duration of the visit.

Streaming media

Compressed audio/video which plays and downloads at the same time. The user does not have to wait for the whole file to download before it starts playing.


A form of rich media advertising which allows a TV-like experience on the web. It is fully pre-cached before playing. See also Rich Media, Cache.

Supply-side platform (SSP)

An Advertiser technology platform which represents the suppliers of online ads (Publishers) SSPs give publishers the ability to increase their website advertising revenues by engaging with multiple demand-side channels (Ad Networks, Ad Exchanges and DSP’s) through a single vendor. Who Uses: Publishers.

Symbian OS

Nokia’s mobile operating system.

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Various criteria to make the delivery of a mobile advertisement more precise (age, gender, income, geographical location, etc.)


The ‘renting’ out of a section of a website by another brand who pays commission to this media owner for any revenue generated from this space.

Text Ad

A static appended text attached to an advertisement.

Text Link

Creative use for mobile advertisements, represented by highlighted and clickable text with a link embedded within the highlighted text.

Third party adserving

The technology used to deliver creative assets from one adserver into another, allowing advertisers to track the performance of the campaigns and recording impressions and clicks amongst other campaign metrics.


The ability to assess the performance of a mobile campaign.

Trading desk

An agency branch trading entity known as the expert operators in their use of new technology.  These entities can be independent or operate within an agency holding company.  This group of people (known as traders) play the day-to-day campaign management role. Who uses:  Agency holding companies, operating agencies, advertisers.


Number of visitors who come to a website.

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Universal Mobile Telephony Service or ‘3G’ offers comprehensive voice and multimedia services to mobile customers by providing very high data rates and functionality such as data streaming. 3G phones are backward compatible and can access all the services that 2 and 2.5G phones can, except that in this case, data can be transferred a lot quicker.

Uniform resource locator (URL)

Technical term that is used to refer to the web address of a particular website. For http://www.iabuk.net

Unique Device Identifiers

Serial numbers associated to each mobile device or to one of its components.

Unique users

A specific mobile subscriber. Every mobile subscriber has some sort of alpha and/or numeric code that is sent with each advertisement request. These ‘unique identifiers’ are used to determine how many unique visitors view each ad.

Universal advertising package

A set of online advertising formats that are standardised placements as defined by the IAB.

Universal player

Is a platform agnostic media player that will allow video and audio to be played on any hardware / software configuration from a single source file.

Unknown Users

Bounce error codes that are generated by ISPs when email addresses are not registered in their systems.

User generated content (UGC)

Online content created by website users rather than media owners or publishers - either through reviews, blogging, podcasting or posting comments, pictures or video clips. Sites that encourage user generated content include YouTube, Wikipedia and Flickr.

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Video On Demand (VOD)

Allows users to watch what they want, when they want. This can be either ‘pay per view’ or a free service usually funded by advertising.

Viral marketing

User receives the original advert/message and forwards it to someone who they believe will be interested.  


Virtual Mobile Network Operator. A company that uses the infrastructure of an existing (licence-owning) telecoms network operator. Tesco and Virgin are two of the largest VMNOs in the UK.

Voice over internet protocol (VOIP)

Technology that allows the use of a broadband Internet connection to make telephone calls.

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WAP (Wireless Application Protocol)

Mark-up language developed specifically for wireless applications to enable optimum usage of the limited display capabilities of a handset. 

WAP 2.0

An increasingly popular format of choice for mobile web. Relies on a new set of standards that are more in line with Internet standards. Using xHTML, mobile carriers, content providers and media companies can present content and functionality in more robust formats via faster wireless technologies.

WAP Site

A web site that is specifically designed and formatted for display on a mobile device.

Web 2.0

The term Web 2.0 - with its knowing nod to upgraded computer applications - describes the next generation of online use. Web 2.0 identifies the consumer as a major contributor in the evolution of the internet into a two-way medium.

Web based

Requiring no software to access an online service or function, other than a web browser and access to the Internet.

Web portal

A website or service that offers a broad array of resources and services, such as email, forums, search engines, and online shopping malls.


A list of contacts that users deem are acceptable to receive email from and should not be filtered or sent to the trash or spam folder.


An e-mail whitelist is a list of contacts that the user deems are acceptable to receive email from and should not be sent to the trash folder.

Wi-Fi (Wireless Fidelity)

The ability to connect to the internet wirelessly. Internet ‘hotspots’ in coffee shops and airports.etc use this technology.


Third party lightweight web application that can be embedded in a 3G mobile phone.


A type of website that allows visitors themselves to easily add, remove, and otherwise edit and change some available content.

Wireless Mark-up Language

Mark-up language developed specifically for wireless applications to enable optimum usage of the limited display capabilities of a handset. 

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XHTML (Extensible Hypertag Markup Language)

The language used to create most mobile internet sites.

XML (Extensible Markup Language)

Language used by many internet applications for exchanging information.

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Your Online Choices (YOC)

This website provides consumers with information about how behavioural advertising works, further information about cookies and the steps they can take to protect their privacy on the internet. It is written by and supported by the internet advertising industry as part of an initiative to enhance transparency and control for online behavioural advertising. The UK version is at www.youronlinechoices.eu/uk.

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