Jargon buster

All the important interest-based advertising terms explained.




A company that sells a product or service and runs advertising campaigns to promote that product or service. An advertiser will also have its own website and therefore often be referred to as a web publisher/site owner.


Advertising Agency


A company that works with advertisers to create campaigns and a plan to execute it, including the best places to run the campaign to achieve the best results.


Advertising Agency Trading Desk (ATD)


A team within an advertising agency dealing with Demand Side Platforms to manage campaigns.


Advertising Exchange


A company acting as an open market for the buying and selling of advertising. Like a stock exchange, web publishers can sell advertising space on their websites to the highest bidder in real-time.


Advertising Network


A company that connects websites and web publishers with relevant advertisers.


Advertising Server


A company with technology that delivers advertising content to a relevant web page.




A cookie is a small file of letters and numbers downloaded on to your computer when you access certain websites. Cookies allow a website to recognise a user’s computer. Cookies themselves do not require personal information to be useful and, in most cases, do not personally identify internet users.


Contextual Advertising


Advertising targeted at a specific individual when visiting a website. Automated systems serve adverts depending on the page content. For instance, when viewing a film review website, the user could be served new cinema releases, latest DVDs or film merchandise advertising.


Data Aggregator


A company that pulls together data from multiple sources and builds ‘segments’ based on interests (eg car buyers). These are sold to advertisers, advertising agencies or advertising networks directly or traded via an advertising exchange so the advertising can be more relevant to the consumer.


Data Management Platform (DMP)


A software platform used for collecting and managing data. They allow businesses to identify audience segments, which can be used to target specific users and contexts in online advertising campaigns.


Demand Side Platform (DSP)


A company that allows advertisers to connect to web publishers. A Demand Side Platform can allow advertisers to manage the bids they make in real-time via an advertising exchange.


Display Advertising


Adverts displayed when users visit a website. These are usually in the form of ‘banners’ or a video.


Online Behavioural Advertising | Interest Based Advertising


The collection and use of previous web browsing activity to deliver relevant advertising.


Sell Side Platform (SSP)


A company that works with web publishers to help maximise the efficiency of the website – and therefore the money received from selling advertising.


Targeted Advertising


Advertising that is specifically aimed at a particular segment of users based on factors such as demographics or behaviour.


Web Publisher


A company that promotes its products and services via its own website and, in this context, sells advertising on the site to help pay for them.


Web Browser


Software that retrieves and collects information resources, and arranges and displays the results in a standardized form on a device such as a computer or mobile. Examples include Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, Safari and Opera.