Media Buying Terms Glossary


The IAB’s Glossary of Interactive Advertising Terms has been written to help marketers, agency executives, and publishers understand the evolving language of interactive marketing.


MANSI Media's own glossary of media buying terms with a special focus on newspaper industry definitions. If you have a term that you would like us to add to our glossary, send us an email and let us know what it is.

Advertising Impressions
The audience delivery of media vehicles, programs or schedules. Usually expressed as thousands (000).
Advertising Weight
The measure of advertising support for an item/brand over a period of time, expressed in gross rating points, impressions, target audience reached, etc.
A print advertisement that is deliberately intended to resemble editorial matter or story in a newspaper or magazine.
A formal sworn statement of fact, signed by someone who can verify this fact, and witnessed by someone such as a notary public. For newspapers, this is often used to prove that an insert or legal notice has run in a paper as scheduled.
Agate Line
A unit of measurement for newspaper advertising which measures one column wide with 14 agate lines per inch (each equal to 1.81 millimeter or 0.07 of an inch).
Average Frequency
The average number of times a person or household is exposed to an advertising schedule/campaign.
Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC)
Independent, non-profi t organization comprised of publishers, advertisers, advertising agencies to audit and certify circulation of various publications. Annual audit reports show the average net-paid-circulation of the publications (including daily and weekly editions of newspapers, and magazines) and is used by advertisers in planning their marketing campaigns.
BDI (Brand Development Index)
A measure of the strength of a brand’s sales in a particular geographic area indexed to the national sales average. BDI indicates where signifi cant groups of a brand’s customers live and aids in targeting marketing efforts.
Printing that extends to the trimmed edge of a printed page.
A full-size newspaper, measuring roughly 14 by 23 inches.
Buy sheet
The form used by a media buyer to keep track of data related to a media “buy”.
Center spreaD
An advertisement appearing on two facing pages of a newspaper, printed on a single sheet in the center of a publication (see Double Truck).
Checking Copy
A copy of a printed page sent to the advertiser and the agency as proof the ad ran as ordered (see Tearsheet).
The total average number of distributed copies of a publication during a specifi ed standard time (day, week or month).
City zone circulation
The targeted number of newspapers distributed within a specifi ed city area, not outlying areas.
Classifi ed advertising
Advertising arranged according to categories featuring items offered for sale at a set price for a set period of time. Ad is generally in small print.
Classified display advertising
Classified advertising with the characteristics of display advertising – larger-sized, non-classifi ed fonts, graphics and borders.
Closing Date
The fi nal deadline by which advertising space must be reserved to secure the dates/ times/positions requested.
An acronym for cyan, magenta, yellow and black - the four ink colors used in full color printing
Column inch
Publication space that is one column wide by one-inch high, used as a measure of advertising space. Column inches are used to determine the cost of ads.
Combination rate
A discounted advertising rate offered to advertisers for buying advertising space in two or more publications owned by the same company.
Cooperative advertising (Co-OP)
Retail advertising that is paid partly or fully by a manufacturer when set guidelines are followed (slang “co-op”). Co-op advertising may only be available at limited times of the year and on certain products.
Corporate discounting
Rate discounts offered to advertisers with numerous brands of products; all of the corporation’s advertising buys are combined for a larger discount level.
Cost Per Rating Point (Cost Per Point, CPP, Cost Per GRP)
The cost of advertising to reach one percentage point of the target group, audience, or population in a given market or geographic area.
Cost Per Thousand (CPM)
The cost of advertising to reach one thousand potential customers or households.
Coverage Area
The geography of where a media has coverage. In print, the coverage area equates to the circulation area.
Cover position
Advertising on the cover of a publication, often at a premium cost due to limited availibility. Cover positions can include front cover, inside front cover, inside back cover, outside back cover or section cover.
Cume (Cumulative Audience)
The total number of individuals or households reached by an advertising campaign at least once during the media buy.
The fi nal date and time for accepting fi nal buy to meet a publication schedule.
Direct Mail Advertising
Any printed material sent via mail directly to target customers.
Display advertising
Print advertisement that is placed outside of classifi ed advertising. Display ads can range from small to the full size of the print page. Ads generally contain typeset copy, graphics and design to attract customer interest. The size of the ad is based on number of columns wide by number of inches tall.
An advertisement designed to promote a heavy volume of response/foot traffi c for a special event or short-term sale
Double Truck
A large newspaper ad measurement that uses two facing full pages, including the gutter or fold. The entire ad is treated as one unit and is traditionally the center spread of the section.
Dots per inch (dpi)
The number of electronic dots per inch that a printer can print effecting resolution. The higher the dpi, the higher the resolution.
Effi ciency
The ratio of cost of an advertising campaign to size of audience used to compare various mediums and buys.
An agreement between a media and an advertiser. The media agrees to run no advertising by compeitors for a given client. This is often granted at a premium price.
An electronic tear sheet - electronic image of a newspaper page used to prove proof of publication
First Refusal
The right of an advertiser to have fi rst choice in continuing sponsorship of a program or position before it is offered to another advertiser.
Fixed Position
An advertising placement which remains fi xed over time (front cover of a section)
Flat rate
A print advertising rate that does not offer a discount.
A scheduling technique for advertising buys.
Fractional page
Print advertising space that is less than a full page
Free circulation
A publication sent to customers without their need to pay for it.
The number of times that an individual is exposed to an advertisement or campaign or the number of times an ad in scheduled for placement.
Frequency discount
A discounted advertising rate that is given by media to advertisers for placing multiple ad placements within a given time frame.
Gross billing
Cost of an advertising buy that includes the advertising agency commission.
Gross Impressions
The total impressions for a series of ads or an ad campaign among a given audience.
Gross Rating Points (GRP’s)
A measure of how much advertising exposure is going to a given audience in a media plan.
The blank space between margins of facing pages of a publication or the blank space between columns of text .
To increase in frequency in a advertising campaign for a limited period of time.
A planned period of inactivity between advertising schedules
A one-page or multi-page print advertisement that is distributed and inserted into a publication.
Insertion Order
Written authorization from the advertiser or agency to a publication. Orders specify cost per ad, size, publication dates as well as any request for special position.
Island Position
A print advertisement surrounded entirely by editorial and not other ads.
Line Rate
The cost per agate line for newspapers. This is often seen in classifi ed placements.
A code placed in an advertisement to facilitate tracking data.
Magazine Supplement
A separately printed magazine section inserted into a newspaper. Supplements can be produced both locally and nationally.
No charge rerun placement given to an advertiser when the original spot or ad did not run or ran incorrectly.
Media Buying
The purchase of media space for the placement of advertisements. This is often done by an agency or placement fi rm on behalf of the advertiser.
Mediamark Research Inc. (MRI)
A research company that provides consumer research in the United States. Their data is used in the majority of media planning measuring print and broadcast media audiences and product/brand usage profi les.
Net Cost
Advertising rates which do not include advertising agency commission and/or discounts.
Net Paid Circulation
A term used by ABC for the circulation of a publication to indicate the number of copies sold per issue both in subscription and newsstands.
Newspaper syndicate
A company that sells special material such as features, photographs, comic strips, and cartoons to newspapers for print in their publications.
Open rate
The highest advertising rate given to an advertiser before any discount can be earned; also called “one-time rate”.
Paid circulation
The number of printed copies that are purchased by readers in a given time period.
A ad measurement system used in magazine advertisements and some tabloids. Designated measurements often include full page, half page, one-third page, onesixth page, etc. These are also called modular units.
Pass-along readership
Readers of a publication in addition to the initial buyer. Also called Secondary Audience.
PCI rate
Cost per column inch for print display advertising, mostly used for newspaper pricing
The degree to which a media has coverage in a market. Can also refer to the effectiveness of a campaign’s impact on individuals or households.
The location of an advertisement on a page.
Premium price
A special advertising rate, usually higher, for special positions or other considerations.
Advertising inserts that are printed in advance of the regular press run and then combined with the fi nal publication just prior to distribution.
Research data that describes consumers on the basis of psychological traits or lifestyle preferences.
Publisher’s Statement
A notarized statement from the publisher of total circulation, geographic distribution, method of getting subscriptions, etc. Statements are fi led as needed by ABC.
The division of an audience into fi ve equal groups ranging from heaviest to lightest media buyers glossary amount of exposure to any medium. Each quintile contains 20% of the total sample.
Rate Card
A document that communicates the advertising costs, issue dates, program names, closing dates, requirements, cancellation dates for a given publication.
A charge for advertising media space or time.
The total number of individuals or households reached by an advertising campaign at least once during the media buy. Alternate term for CUME Audience.
The percent or number of persons who read a publication or advertisement.
Readers Per Copy
Number of readers per one copy of a newspaper or magazine.
Regional Edition
A national publication’s geographic-specific section that provides circulation in a certain geographic area.
ROP color
Color printing that is done during the scheduled press run and is placed in the regular space of the publication.
Run of paper or RUN oF paper (ROP)
Newspaper advertising that is positioned to run anywhere in a publication, with no exact choice of a specific position or page. Placement is at the discretion of the newspaper.
A list of advertisements or media to be used in a campaign along with timing of placements.
Schedule and estimate
Detailed information submitted to the advertiser prior to a media buy; traditionally details price, scheduled, publications and goals.
Secondary audience
Readers of a publication in addition to the initial buyer. Also called Pass Along Readership.
Shopping newspaper
A newspaper-like publication that is predominately advertising and often distributed free to shoppers or to households (slang “shopper”).
Short rate
Money that is owed to a media by an advertiser to compensate for the shortfall difference in revenue between what was purchased and what was contracted.
Payment for marketing vehicle in exchange for advertisements in the piece.
Spot color
An single extra color ink added to a page; also called fl at color.
A newspaper section in magazine format inserted prior to distribution.
A newspaper format that’s roughly half the size of a broadsheet newspaper. Approximate size of a standard newspaper folded in half (slang “tab”).
A publication page with an advertiser’s message, sent to the advertiser as proof of accurate placement.
An interest-building advertisement that precedes the kick-off of an advertising campaign.
Till forbidden (TF)
A newspaper insertion order abbreviation; run the advertisement until told to stop.
Trade paper
A specialized publication for a specifi c audience like a profession, trade, or industry.
Anything capable of exposing advertising to customers.

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