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Books on:



Mass Media









Advertising Media A to Z






Surmanek J. Advertising Media A to Z. N.Y. MacGraw-Hill, 2003. 337 p.


About This Book


Some people tell me that my books have helped them understand the dynamics of media planning and buying. My friends tell me that my books are a sure cure for insomnia. Notwithstanding, media, like many technical subjects, cannot be swallowed whole and fully remembered. I have found that many who have read all or parts of my previous books continue to use them as handy references. Those key words handy references were the impetus for this work.

This book focuses on advertising media: media planning, media buying, and media research. I have wanted to write a book about brain surgery, but I know nothing about the subject. The same goes for rocket science, anthropology, and a host of other subjects. So I continue to stick with what I've been involved in for most of my career: media.

This book is a combination of a dictionary (for those wishing to have a media term defined), an encyclopedia (for those interested in knowing a bit of the history behind certain terms, research companies, etc.), and a training manual (for the serious media student). Overall, I hope you find it a handy reference.

It should not be a surprise that all the terms are in alphabetical order. It's easier to find things that way. Terms with numbers in them are treated as if they are spelled out, so "30-sheet" is alphabetized as if it were "thirty-sheet". Only letters are considered for alphabetizing; asterisks, dashes, colons, and slashes are completely disregarded. So "A/B split" is alphabetized as if it were "AB split".

Acronyms, such as "CPM," are listed, but they are defined under their full name, in this case, "cost per thousand". This is done for two reasons: first, it reinforces the name, which is often by itself a definition of the acronym and therefore more memorable; second, some people might look up the acronym while others will look up the term itself. The definition could have been listed under both the acronym and the full name, but listing the definition only once saves a tree.

Mathematical formulas are shown at the end of various definitions, along with an example of the math. The serious professional is urged to work out the math at least once to fully understand the definition. An advanced degree in mathematics is not needed. For quick reference and reminder, media formulas are also reprised in a separate section at the end of this book.

Words with multiple definitions have numbered definitions for reading ease, but the numbers do not indicate any order of priority for the definitions. For example, the two definitions of "average audience" are equally important.

If there are related terms not shown within the definition of a term, it will be suggested that you "also see" these other terms. If a website is associated with the term, the uniform resource locator (URL) will be listed. If you cannot find a word in this book, first make sure you are correctly spelling the word. If you are, you will have to look it up in another dictionary.




AA See average audience.

AAAA See American Association of Advertising Agencies.

AAF See American Advertising Federation.

Abandonware Computer software that is no longer manufactured nor distributed by the company that created it.

ABC See Audit Bureau of Circulations.

ABCD counties See Nielsen county size groups.

ABCi See Audit Bureau of Circulations.

Above the fold 1. Advertising or editorial content on a Web page that a user can see without having to scroll down. 2. Ad or edit content that appears in the top half of a standard-size newspaper. Also see below the fold.

A/B split Two versions of an advertisement, or two entirely different ads for the same company, with each version distributed in every other copy of the magazine. Each version is ostensibly delivered to all of the geographic areas covered by the magazine. The two versions combined account for 100 percent of the magazine's circulation. A/B splits often are used to test two versions of an advertisement to determine, for example, which has the higher level of readership or response (as gauged by coupon redemption, reader phone calls).

AC See adult contemporary.

Academy of Marketing Science (AMS) An international, scholarly, professional organization dedicated to promoting high standards and excellence in the creation and dissemination of marketing knowledge and the furtherance of marketing practice. AMS has a role of leadership around the world within the discipline of marketing. Website: ams-web.org

ACB See Advertising Checking Bureau. Access See TV dayparts.

Access channels Cable TV channels that are leased by a cable system operator (with or without cost) for use by the public, educational institutions, or local governments.

Access charge A fee charged to subscribers or other telephone companies by a local exchange carrier for the use of its local exchange networks.

Access provider See Internet service provider.

Accordion insert An advertising circular, leaflet, or pamphlet that has been folded in an accordion fashion for binding into a magazine.

Accrual 1. The amount of a cooperative (co-op) fund earned on a per-dollar or per-unit basis through purchases over a stated period. 2. An accounting procedure where revenue and expenses are recorded in the period in which they are earned or incurred, regardless of whether cash is received or disbursed in that period.

ACORN A geodemographic segmentation system. ACORN's neighborhood segments are divided into 43 clusters and 9 summary groups. ACORN was created by CACI and then sold to ESRI. It is an acronym for "A Classification of Residential Neighborhoods".


The full text of the book can be found at bookstores, e-bookstores and libraries.


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See also:

Strategic Brand Communication Campaigns

Content, Channels and Audiences in the New Millennium

Mass Media Theory

Books on Advertising

Books on PR

Books on Mass Media