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National Readership Survey terms to define reading demographic groups ie: A = Upper middle class, higher managerial, administrative or professional.

Above the line

Advertising for which a payment is made and for which commission is paid to the advertising agency.
Also see 'Below the line' and 'Push versus pull promotion'.

Accompanied shopping

A specialised type of interview in which respondents are interviewed while they shop in a retail store. The interview technique combines questioning and observations.

Account management

The process by which an agency or supplier manages the needs of a client.


A Classification Of Residential Neighbourhoods: a database which divides up the entire population of the UK in terms of the type of housing in which they live.

Added value

The increase in worth of a product or service as a result of a particular activity - in the context of marketing, the activity might be packaging or branding.

Adopter categories

Five groups into which consumers can be placed according to the time it takes them to adopt a new product or service. The five categories are:
• Innovators – Those who are first to adopt a new product or service.
• Early adopters – Those who adopt a new product or service after the innovators have already adopted it.
• Early majority – Those who adopt just before the ‘average’ person.
• Late majority – Those who eventually adopt through economic necessity or social pressure.
• Laggards - Those who are last to adopt a new product or service.


Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line. Technology that allows data to be transmitted over copper pair telephone lines at up to 8 Mbps. The technology allows internet access and telephony services to be available simultaneously.


Promotion of a product, service, or message by an identified sponsor using paid-for media.

Advertising Cost Equivalent (ACE)

See 'Advertising Value Equivalent'.

Advertising Space Equivalent (ASE)

See 'Advertising Value Equivalent'.

Advertising Value Equivalent (AVE)

A commonly used PR measurement of the value of the space secured by PR executives had they bought that equivalent amount of space in advertising.


An advertisement which is designed to have the appearance of an editorial. Advertorials are normally labelled as "Advertising" or "This is an advertisement". Similar in practice to an infomercial.

Advocacy advertising

Advocacy advertising expresses a viewpoint on a given issue, often on behalf of an institution. Examples are to be found in anti-drink-driving campaigns.


Free software which includes pop-up banner advertisements which cannot be dismissed.

Affiliate marketing

A form of marketing or advertising used on the internet. Companies that sell products or services online link to relevant sites. The advertising on the other or 'affiliate' sites is paid for according to results.

Affinity marketing

Marketing targeted at individuals sharing common interests that predispose them towards a product, e.g. an auto accessories manufacturer targeting motoring magazine readers. Also, a campaign jointly sponsored by a number of disparate organisations that are non-competitive but have a particular interest in common.

After sales service

Services received after the original goods or service have been paid for.


Attention, Interest, Desire, Action: a model describing the process that advertising or promotion is intended to initiate in the mind of a prospective customer.


Awareness, Interest, Understanding, Attitudes, Purchase, Repeat purchase: a buying decision model.

Alternate Reality Game (ARG)

A game based in the real world but which has a fictitious plot or an alternative reality. Unlike computer games, which are controlled by computer programs, it is actively controlled by its designers. An ARG usually involves a variety of media and may include the use of real locations. All websites, phone numbers, email addresses, characters, etc in the game are “real” for game purposes and can be interacted with. An ARG does not require the players to assume fictional identities or to role play beyond accepting the alternative reality of the game for playing purposes.

Ambient media

Originally known as 'fringe media', ambient media are communications platforms that surround us in everyday life - from petrol pump advertising to advertising projected onto buildings to advertising on theatre tickets, cricket pitches or even pay slips.
Also see 'Buzz'.

Ambush marketing

A deliberate attempt by an organisation to associate itself with an event (often a sporting event) in order to gain some of the benefits associated with being an official sponsor without incurring the costs of sponsorship. For example by advertising during broadcasts of the event.
Also see 'Buzz'.

Analytical Hierachy Process (AHP)

A mathematical decision making technique that allows consideration of both qualitative and quantitative aspects of decisions. It reduces complex decisions to a series of one-on-one comparisons, then synthesises the results.

Ansoff matrix

Category management tool which relates market position to market strategy. It maps new versus existing products along one axis, and new versus existing markets along the other. Each quadrant of the matrix relates to a product-market strategy:
• Market penetration – existing product/service and an existing market
• Product development – new product/service and an existing market
• Market development – existing product/service and a new market
• Diversification – new product/service and a new market

Asset led marketing

Asset led marketing uses product strengths such as the name and brand image to market both new and existing products. Marketing decisions are based on the needs of the consumer AND the assets of the product.


An assessed work based project report. Assignments are part of the assessment procedure when studying for a qualification.


The unethical or illegal practice of influencing or distorting word of mouth communication for commercial gain by posing as something or someone that you are not.
See ‘Word of Mouth’.


An animated or graphic character, cartoon or picture used to represent an individual in a game, chat room or website.