Behind the scenes.

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The effect of TV advertising agencies is incalculable and their impact undeniable with their ability to reach a massive global audience.

TV advertising and marketing companies use their own language and terminology that is very different from that used in any other profession. Whether it’s talking about placing adverts, designing campaigns, or measuring results, there is a specific language tailored to the TV advertising industry.

Sometimes it can all get a bit overwhelming and confusing, and whilst the terms are so varied and broad and cover a wide area, there are some terms and definitions that crop up more than others.

The following (alphabetical) list is by no mean comprehensive, but it should give you some pointers and help demystify some of the jargon associated with the wonderful world of advertising.

AFP Ad Funded Programmes. Programmes that are either partly or fully funded by an advertiser

Average Frequency An expression of the average number of times a particular campaign or advertisement will be seen or heard by someone

BACC Broadcast Advertising Clearance Centre. All adverts appearing on member stations must be cleared by BACC prior to transmission

Bumpers Short branded sponsorship credits shown either side of the programme coming in and out of the commercial break.

Commercial Minutage The number of minutes (per day, per week, etc) on television during which commercials are broadcast

Coverage The coverage level of an ad campaign – also known as ‘reach’ – to show the exent it is viewed by its target audience

DAL Dedicated Advertiser Location. Accessed via the red button which allows viewers to enter an advertiser environment outside the broadcast system

Day-part Broadcast time period (segment), for example: daytime 0900-1730

Establishment Survey A UK annual survey carried out by BARB (Broadcaster’s Audience Research Board) and used to update population estimates and targets for the maintenance of the BARB panels

Focus Group Group of people invited to comment on a new product or campaign which are then used to decide on how to best market the product

Free-to-air TV channels offered free to users, subscription free

Frequency Average number of times a target audience is able to see an advertisement

Household A group whose viewing is measured by the ratings supplier hat implies their social class

Impacts Number of people who view a commercial. One impact is one person viewing a commercial in a thirty second period.

Ofcom The regulating authority for television, radio, telecommunications and wireless communication services

Programme Sponsor An advertiser who has paid for an association with a specific programme or genre

Road Blocking An advertiser booking the same time for a product (ie: Channel 4 and Channel 5) to increase its coverage

Sample Size Number of individuals used in analysing market or audience research results

Strike Weight The weight of advertising ratings brought per week

Target Audience The group advertisers are aiming to reach

Universe Number in the target audience available to watch V measured in thousands in each television area

Weekly Channel Reach Percentage of target audience that views a channel in an average week

So whether you’re considering breaking in to TV advertising or already work for a production company in London, this list should give you a heads-up.

If you work in advertising, have you got any abbreviations or terms that might be useful to add to the list?

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