Glossary of digital advertising terms-of-art, players, organizations, and technical processes, with an emphasis on those that impact good brand safety practice.


Ad Blocking
A process by consumers of content or services that uses software to block digital advertising.
Ad Exchange
A digital marketplace where advertisers, publishers, and networks buy and sell advertising space like display, video, and mobile inventory. An ad exchange allows advertisers and publishers to use the same technological platform, services, and methods, and "speak the same language" in order to exchange data, set prices, and ultimately serve an ad.
Ad Experience
Overall Ad Experience on a page; percentage of ads versus content.
Ad Fraud
Ad fraud can take many forms but is essentially a scam to bring advertisers to pay for worthless opportunities. Ad stacking, domain spoofing and click fraud are the most common types of ad fraud.
Ad Injection
Inserting ads into an app, web page, etc., without the consent of the publisher or operator of that resource.
Ad Quality
General makeup of the ad itself: size, duration, in ad content, audio on are examples.
Ad Stacking
Placing multiple ads on top of each other in a single placement, with only the top ad being viewable. The advertiser pays for impressions even if the end user is not seeing an ad.
Adjaceny to Unsafe Content/Misplacement
Advertising appearing next to or in front of content the marketer deems not appropriate for their brand.
Agency Trading Desk

A centralized management platform used by ad agencies that specialize in programmatic media and audience buying. Trading desks are typically layered on top of a demand side platform (DSP) or other audience buying technology. Trading desks attempt to help clients improve their advertising performance and receive increased value from their advertising. They also measure results and report audience insights to their clients.

Trading desks were created in order to give the client and the agency more control over ad placement. When working with an ad network, the client often has limited say over where the ad is placed. Working with a trading desk allows the client to direct where ad dollars are spent and more closely examine the results to optimize if necessary.

Arbitrage
A technique where one party will buy cheap inventory and resell it at a higher price. It becomes a fraudulent practice if the buyer is unaware of the source of the inventory.
Audience Verification
Verifying of ads targeted to right audiences. For example: home buyers, geo targeting, etc.
Audience Extension
Audience extension allows advertisers to target a premium site audience, which is often sold out, across other sites and platforms, such as DSPs, ad networks, or exchanges. Also known as lookalike modeling, audience extension allows a marketer to choose various characteristics from a known audience segment and target a new audience who shares those characteristics.
Auto-refresh
A page ad unit enabled to request a new rendered asset more than once and at periodic intervals.
Blocking
Keeping ads off web pages that are unsafe. If the page is identified as unsafe, then the ad will not serve.
Blocklist
A list of domains that a brand is not willing to have its advertising appear on.
Bot
Short for robot; refers to a software program that carries out automated tasks on the Internet. There are good bots and bad bots. They may intentionally or unintentionally view ads, watch videos, click on ads, etc.
Bot detection
The process of identifying bot traffic and bot impressions from human traffic and human impressions.
Bot prevention
The prevention of bot traffic and bot impressions before the inventory is bought or sold.
Bot Traffic
Nonhuman traffic designed to mimic users and inflate audience numbers.
Botnet
A group of computers taken over by software.
Brand Partners
B2B companies hired to work with a marketer or publisher to execute digital advertising.
Browser pre-rendering
A device makes HTML or ad requests prior to expected human-initiated navigation to the requested resources.
Connected TV (CTV)
Connected TV refers to any TV screen that can be connected to the internet and stream digital video, whether individually (smart TV) or through an external device such as Roku, AppleTV, etc.
Cookie stuffing
A client is provided with cookies from other domains as if the user had visited those.
Data Management Platform (DMP)
A centralized data management platform allows you to create target audiences based on a combination of in-depth first and third party audience data.
A DMP is a centralized system for gathering first-party data, integrating with third-party data, and applying this data to one's advertising strategy. A DMP may offer the following features: estimating the likely reach for a user segment, measuring the lift from using data, acting as a financial clearing house between data buyers and sellers, and assisting publishers in monetizing data on their users. DMPs most commonly work with user data but may also work with contextual data or other types of data.
Data Protection
Data Protection is consumer data protected from unauthorized access by unauthorized parties
Datacenter Traffic
Traffic originating from datacenters, rather than residential or corporate networks. Typically, no end user is present and therefore invalid. However proxy servers or other technologies may result in traffic appearing to originate from datacenters while still being delivered to human users.
Demand Side Platform (DSP)
DSPs allow advertisers to buy impressions across a range of publisher sites, but targeted to specific users based on information including location and previous browsing behavior.
A DSP is a buy-side platform that allows buyers of digital ad inventory to easily and more directly connect with sellers in a programmatic and real time environment. A DSP has access to the inventory and does the bidding for you in real time to allow you to buy impressions at the moment you need them. Data can be brought in to assess which inventory is most valuable to a client.
Domain Spoofing
HTML or an ad request that attempts to represent a site, device, etc., other than the actual placement, tricking advertisers and ad exchanges into thinking the inventory is legitimate.
Fake News
Fake news is any website or web page that is actively creating and/or distributing deliberately inaccurate content as news.
Frequency Cap Restricting (Capping)
The number of times (frequency) a person can be shown an ad impression in a specific period of time.
General Invalid Traffic (GIVT)
Traffic that comes from known, nonhuman sources on publicly available IP lists. It can be identified through routine means of filtration. Key examples include datacenter traffic; bots and spiders or other crawlers masquerading as legitimate users; non-browser user-agent headers; hidden, stacked, covered, or otherwise unviewable ads; pre-fetch or browser pre-rendering traffic; and invalid proxy traffic.
Hijacked Device
A user’s device (browser, phone, app) is modified to request HTML or make ad requests that are not under the control of a user and made without the user’s consent.
Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB)
A global organization that develops industry standards, conducts research, and provides legal support for the online advertising industry. https://www.iab.com/
In-Demo Measurement
The ability to measure the age and gender of exposed audiences to ensure advertisers are reaching the desired target audience. This type of measurement is often validated by 3rd party companies such as Nielsen.
Invalid Traffic (IVT)
Also referred to as Nonhuman Traffic (NHT) or Suspicious Activity Detection (SAD), it is online traffic generated from machines or other bot activity that interacts with digital ads.
Inventory Quality Content
Inventory quality in this context follows the inventory quality guidelines of content based targeting distinguished for example by user generated content versus premium content.
Keyword List
A list of words a brand wishes to avoid their advertising appearing adjacent to.
Latency
Latency is used to describe the consumer experience of a website or application being slow, often times the result of poor ad creation or delivery.
Media Rating Council (MRC)
A U.S.-based industry organization that aims to secure valid, reliable, and effective measurement services for the media industry through an audit and accreditation system. When MRC accredited, a verification provider’s measurement services meet the established criteria. http://mediaratingcouncil.org/
Pre-bid
Occurring before a purchase takes place. A brand or agency may want to know the likelihood that inventory will meet certain criteria before bidding on it – that is, pre-bid.
Private Marketplace (PMP)
A PMP is a type of programmatic advertising that offers a real-time-bidding, invitation-only, auction environment for digital advertising that leverages online ad inventory. Because the marketplace is only available to certain providers and buyers, it is a closed system with exclusive inventory. This Inventory is bought and sold at an impression level and it is a one-on-one deal between the exchange provider and the buyer. It also allows the exchange provider to monetize their inventory more efficiently and place rules around who can purchase impressions.
Programmatic Advertising
Programmatic advertising refers to the automation of buying and selling digital media. Advertisers use programmatic technology to more efficiently buy on digital ad inventory, with less direct communication with people. It reduces much of the manual back and forth that come with the middle steps of buying and selling, including IOs.
Programmatic Direct
This is the automation of ad buys directly between a publisher and an advertiser for fixed budget campaigns.
Real-Time Bidding (RTB)
Bidding that happens via automated auctions on online ad inventory in real time. A real-time bid is often dynamically generated based on past performance of creatives, inventory, user groups, and other parameters. Real-time bidding also implies multiple bidding systems or exchanges making calls to each other in real time.
Safelist
A list of pre-approved domains that a brand finds acceptable, or safe, for its advertising to appear on, regardless of any brand safety settings that may already be in place. Also known as an Allow List.
Sophisticated Invalid Traffic (SIVT)
Nonhuman traffic that is more difficult to detect, and requires advanced analytics, multipoint corroboration/coordination, or significant human intervention to analyze and identify. Key examples include hijacked devices, hijacked tags, adware, malware, incentivized browsing, misappropriated content (if applicable), falsified viewable impression decisions, and cookie stuffing.
Supply-Side Platform (SSP)
Supply-side platforms allow publishers to connect their inventory to DSPs, ad exchanges and networks to sell their impressions in real-time. SSPs can be connected to multiple buying-sources.
Tracking Pixel
A 1x1 pixel-sized transparent image that provides information about an ad's placement. In many cases, a tracking pixel is used to notify an ad tracking system that an ad has been served (or not served, in some cases) or that a specific web page has been accessed.
Trustworthy Accountability Group (TAG)
A cross-industry accountability program that works to create transparency in business relationships and transactions in the digital ad industry, while continuing to enable innovation. https://www.tagtoday.net/
Viewability
Viewability is an online advertising metric that measures the number of impressions viewed by users. An impression does not necessarily count as a viewed impression.
Percentage and duration of advertising viewed by consumers as defined by the Media Ratings Council.