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Advertisement or Ad

A public notice in any medium (television, radio, print, out-of-home).


Delivery of a persuasive message about a product, service, or idea to a large group of people at a single time through the use of mass media.

American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA)

A union representing radio talent as well as on-camera and off-camera television talent.


A broadcast rating service for television and radio that uses both a viewer diary method and an electronic recording and tabulating system to measure audience size and characteristics.

Audience Segmentation

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

Audit Bureau of Circulation

A company that collects circulation information and issues reports on circulation levels for various publications.


Beta (also called Beta SP) Videotape

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.


A common name for outdoor signs located along streets and highways in either paper or vinyl.


Printing to the edge of the page, leaving no margin.

Body Copy

The text within a print advertisement that helps qualify or further explains the headlines or subheadlines.

Bonus Weight Time

Extra commercial time that stations provide free of charge. Stations sometimes grant this time to new advertisers, public service/nonprofit organizations, or advertisers purchasing large media buys. The bonus time may be either during the same day part as the purchased time or may be fit in where time is available.

Broadcast Media

Television or radio.

Bus King

A type of outdoor transit advertising designed for the outside of buses.

Bus Shelter

A type of transit advertising designed for the shelters at bus stops. Can also be used inside or outside train stations.


Camera Ready

An ad, art, copy text, or graphic ready for inclusion in publications.


An advertising effort on behalf of a particular product, service, or issue that lasts for a specified period of time; is intended to generate specific outcomes or effects; and targets a relatively large number of people. A single campaign generally is based around a common theme and target audience and often includes ads in several media types. In addition to referring to the advertising effort, campaign can also refer to the set of materials used.


For publications, the total number of copies that are distributed, usually a total of subscriptions plus single copies sold.

City Zone

The portion of a newspaper’s coverage area that includes the corporate city plus adjacent areas that have the characteristics of the city.

Column Inch

A unit of publication space 1 column wide and 1 inch long.


A short advertisement, message, or announcement recorded in an audio or audiovisual format, 3 minutes or less in length, intended for television or radio use, which may be either a public service announcement, a paid advertisement, or both.


Any text to be included in an advertisement.


A legal term referring to protection granted an individual or organization against the use of an original work without expressed consent.

Cost Per Thousand (CPM)

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


Any efforts or campaigns aimed at countering the advertising by the tobacco industry and other pro-tobacco influences. Counter-advertising seeks to replace these pro-tobacco messages and influences with persuasive, pro-health, anti-tobacco messages. This can take many forms including television, radio, print, billboard, theater, and other out-of-home advertising.


Refers to marketing and communications efforts aimed at countering the marketing efforts (including but not limited to advertising) of the tobacco industry and other pro-tobacco influences. Counter-marketing can include such efforts as media advocacy, media relations, in-school curriculum programs, and sponsorships and promotions, as well as paid counter-advertising.


The percentage of households or individuals in a designated area that have access to a specific advertising medium.



Newspapers that are published every day of the week.

Daily Effective Circulation (DEC)

The total number of people, regardless of duplication or their participation in your target, exposed to an out-of-home advertising message in 1 day.


The different segments of the broadcast day (e.g., daytime, primetime, and early fringe.


The TV daypart that generally begins at 9 a.m. and ends at 5 p.m.


A brief synopsis of the advertisement.

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.

Display Advertising

Print advertising that usually includes illustrations, typography, colors, and design to attract attention, in contrast to classified advertising, which usually consists only of text.

Drive Time

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


Early Fringe

The daypart between daytime and primetime, generally 5:00-7:00 p.m. EST.


The specific ethnic or racial group that the advertiser is attempting to reach and influence or the ethnic or racial identify of an actor or model in an advertisement.


A specific advertisement. (Note: There may be several different executions with the same advertising strategy.)

Execution Style

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


Flat Rate

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


A period of time during which a concentration of radio or television commercials are aired.


A complete assortment of type characters of one style (e.g., Times New Roman).


The average number of times an audience is exposed to a specific advertising message over a period of time—typically 4 weeks.



The overall improvement the program will strive to create.

Gross Ratings Points (GRPs)

An estimate of the percentage of individuals or households that will be exposed to a television or radio commercial.

Guaranteed Circulation

A minimum circulation level guaranteed by print publications.


Half Run

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

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.


Insertion Date

The date a print advertisement will appear in a publication.

Insertion Order

In print advertising, a space reservation that indicates the insertion date, position, and size of the print advertisement.

ISCI (Industry Standard Coding Identification)

The standard codes used to identify radio and television ads.


Key Message

The main idea the advertisement is intended to convey.


In artwork, an outline drawing of finished art to indicate the exact shape, position, and size for such elements as half-tones, line sketches, etc.

Kill Date

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



Identifies the language(s) in which an ad is available.

Late Fringe

A TV daypart that follows primetime, usually from 11:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. EST (or later).

Lead Time

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


For television or radio, the duration of the spot, measured in seconds, not including the tagging.

Live Announcer Spots

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

Live Announcer Tag

A disc jockey or announcer from the radio station comes "on the air" and reads your tag, live, after the produced spot has played.



Substitute airtime that is given to the advertiser free of charge to make up for a commercial that did not air during a daypart that the advertiser had bought.

Materials Close

The deadline for a publication to receive print advertising materials, such as camera-ready art.


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

Media Campaign

See Campaign.

Media Plan or Media Buy Plan

A part of the communications plan that details how various media will be employed. Identifies the specific schedule of paid placements that have been negotiated for an ad or collection of ads, including the times and programs during which television and radio ads will run, the locations and sizes of billboards that will be placed, the publications and placement within those publications in which print ads will run, etc. The media plan also contains a summary of expected target audience reach and frequency.

Media Strategy

A part of the marketing plan that specifies how media will be used to accomplish marketing objectives.

Media Type or Medium

Format of the advertisement (e.g., radio, television, print, or out-of-home). Also referred to as media vehicle, media channel, or media outlet.


Composer or performer of the music heard in the advertisement.



In broadcasting, a group of stations affiliated by contract and usually interconnected for the simultaneous broadcasting of programs (e.g., ABC, CBS).

Nielsen, A.C.

A media research company that surveys the viewing levels of all TV stations in all markets in the United States and issues reports at least four times a year for each market.



A quantifiable statement of a desired program achievement necessary to reach a program goal.

Open Rate

In print advertising, the highest rate from which all discounts are computed.

Optimal Placement

A recommendation on where or when an ad should be placed Recommendations are based on an ad’s target audience, key message, etc. and the audience that is reached by the recommended TV show, billboard location, etc.

Outdoor Advertising

Signs or billboards placed along streets and highways, in both painted and poster formats.


Primarily print advertising seen outside of the home such as those on billboards, taxis, bus shelters, and the sides of city buses as well as in transit stations, airports, and malls.


Paid Advertising or Paid Media

Ads that you pay to place in any medium. Because they are paid, the advertiser controls the placement and content of messages, making them very useful in targeting specific audience segments.

Pass-along Readers

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


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


A sheet containing a number of frames and the script from a television commercial.


A unit of measurement for type and printed materials. Six picas equal 1 inch.


A unit of measurement for type and printed materials. Twelve points equal 1 pica.


The part of the page, page number, and section where an advertisement appears.

Post-buy Report

A report provided by broadcast stations to advertisers that identifies the exact times, dates, programs, and estimated dollar value of the airtime in which the advertiser’s commercials were broadcast.


The physical application of printed sheets to billboards.

Preferred Position

An advertising position within a publication or within a block of television ads for which the advertiser must pay a premium price.

Primary Readers

Readers who purchased a magazine or who are members of a household in which the publication was purchased.


A continuous period of time not less than 3 hours per broadcast day as designated by the station. Usually 8-11 p.m. EST, 7-10 p.m. CST, and 8-11 p.m. PST.

Produced (Recorded) Tag

A tag that is recorded in a studio and added to the end of a spot. (Note: if you plan to use this type of tagging, you will be responsible for producing the tag and providing it to the MCRC.)

Produced By

Ad agency or organization that produced the advertisement.

Production Date

Date that the ad was created.

Produced For

Health or tobacco control organization that paid for or arranged for production of the ad.

Produced Radio Spot

Radio advertisement that has been prerecorded.


Noncommercial entertainment, sports, and informational broadcast programs.


A copy of an advertisement as it will appear once it has been produced or printed.

Public Service Announcement (PSA)

Any advertising intended for the public good that is placed free of charge. Usually refers to commercials intended for nonpaid placement on television or radio, in accordance with the Public Service Announcement/Government Agency Messages waiver provisions of the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA) Commercials contract. Also used informally for nonpaid placement on print and out-of-home vehicles.

Publisher’s Statement

The statement of a publication’s circulation; reports are issued by the Audit Bureau of Circulation twice a year.


Rate Card

A card issued by an advertising medium listing its rates, requirements, and information needed from the advertiser.


A rating indicates the estimated percentage of population that has the opportunity to be exposed to the advertising message.


The number of people or households that will be exposed to a specific advertising message over a period of time, typically 4 weeks.


Information on users’ experience with the ad. This may include information such as amount of airplay, calls generated, or anecdotal information on public response to the ad.

Readers per Copy (RPC)

The number of individuals who read a given copy of a publication.


A print publication’s circulation multiplied by its pass-along audience, normally expressed in "readers per copy."


The extent to which the target audience remembers seeing or hearing a message or advertisement. Recall is one determinant of the effectiveness of an advertising campaign.


Correcting or improving photographs or other artwork.

Run of Paper (ROP)

Any location in a publication, in contrast to preferred position.


Saturation Campaign

A media pattern of intense frequency over a relatively short period of time. Implies simultaneous achievement of wide reach and frequency designed to achieve maximum impact, coverage, or both.

Screen Actors Guild (SAG)

The union representing on-camera and off-camera actors.


The written text of a television or radio advertisement, often including character dialog, audio/visual effects, and stage directions.

Secondary Target Audience

Groups that have some influence or control over the primary target audience. For example, if youth aged 12 to 17 years is the primary target audience, a secondary target audience might be teachers, coaches, or parents. Secondary target audiences can also be groups that are specific subcategories within the primary target audience that need their own communication strategies, messages, and media vehicles. For example, if youth aged 12 to 17 years is the primary target audience, Hispanic youth could be a secondary target audience.

Self Mailer

A direct mail piece that can be mailed without a wrapper or envelope.


A group of related ads that were produced to convey a specific message and are part of the same campaign.


A measurement of audience exposure to out-of-home advertising. A showing is the daily total of the advertisement’s reach times the frequency of audience exposure to it.


Tagging of out-of-home advertising. Usually consists of a sticker with the sponsoring organization’s tag and is placed directly on the ad, sometimes to cover up an existing tag.

Space Close

The deadline for ordering advertising space in publications.


An ad; a public notice published in the press or broadcast over the air.


Two facing pages in a publication. Also called a double truck.

Station Break

Designated time between network programs or within programs set aside for local station identification.


A panel or series of panels on which a set of sketches or pictures is arranged depicting consecutively the important changes of scene and action in a series of shots for a television commercial. Often accompanied by the script.


The communication plan used to develop the ad.

Super (Superimposed words)

A visual text tag, usually in the final frames of the commercial.


A special newspaper feature section, usually in magazine format and distributed in Sunday editions. Also referred to as Sunday supplement or Sunday magazine.



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


Lenth of time available on a television or radio ad for sponsor identification/tag.


Primarily refers to actors used in advertising. Can also refer to voice performers, musicians, etc.

Talent Agency

Group engaged in the employment and payment of actors, voice performers, and musicians, etc. used in advertising.

Target Audience or Primary Target Audience

The specific group that the advertiser is attempting to reach and influence.

Target Market Profile

A demographic and psychographic description of a target market.

Target Rating Points (TRPs)

An estimate of the percentage of the target audience that will be exposed to a television or radio commercial.

Tear Sheets

A page containing an advertisement that is removed from a publication and sent to an advertiser, allowing the advertiser to see how the ad appeared.


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


Subject or topic conveyed in an advertisement.


The frequency level required to achieve an effect. (Note: An ad may need to achieve an average frequency of three before it is remembered.)


A descriptive general heading that identifies the advertisement.

Traffic Instructions

Instructions the advertiser gives to stations regarding the proportion of airtime to be allotted each advertisement.

Transit Advertising

A form of out-of-home advertising that includes placement of print ads on buses and other vehicles and in train stations and bus shelters.



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

Usage Limitations

Restrictions on the placement of a commercial (e.g., PSA use only).

Use Fees

In paid broadcast advertising, the fees paid to performers used in television commercials or radio spots. The fee is based on the number of airplays and the number and size of media markets in which the advertisement will air. Use fees are paid in addition to holding fees.



A recorded tag that is heard during the final few seconds of a spot. We don’t recommend this type of tagging because of the cost.



Identifies the edition of the MCRC Video Catalog on which an ad was first cataloged. Waves 1 and 2 correspond with volumes 1 and 2 of the Media Campaign Resource Book.



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