Names for Where Display Ads Are Shown

If you’ve ever tried to run display ads online you might have come across an odd problem – no one talks like you. While you are your colleagues might be certain of the website you want to run ads on, trying to convey that message to the person who runs the ads on that website can often be a problem.

Do you want it on the HP or RoS? How do you feel about overlays? Do you want to run contextually relevant ads by going RoC, or expand your reach dramatically by going RoN? ATF or BTF?

If all these acronyms feel like nonsense, don’t worry, we’ve got you. Take a look at the below, and quickly learn how to talk about where online ads can go.


Names for Where Display Ads Are Shown

Learn all the ways used to describe where display ads are shown. This is a surprisingly long list, so understanding the jargon is vital if you are running display ads.

  • Ad Slot – the specific place where an ad can run.
    • Fun fact, these are not always individually targetable! For example, if you want to appear by a specific article you may have to target all articles in that section.
  • Ad Placement – a targetable ad space.
    • These are often a group of ad slots. So for example, all the ad 728×90 ad spaces in a section of a site may count as one ad placement.
  • Above the Fold – ads spaces which are at least 50% visible when a web page loads.
    • These ad spaces perform very well, and so generally cost more.
  • Below the Fold  – ad spaces which are only visible once a user scrolls down on a webpage.
    • These ad slots should only load when they come on screen, but this is not always the case. Because of this these placements are usually cheaper and perform worse than their ATF counterparts.
  • HP / Homepage – ads that run on the homepage of a website.
    • This is often considered a ‘premium’ placement as there is additional branding value being conferred.
  • RoS / Run of Site – ads that run across a whole site.
    • The homepage will often be excluded from this targeting.
    • Can be combined with other targeting. For example, “18-24 year olds RoS” would mean targeting 18-24 year olds on any page of a site.
  • RoC / Run of Channel – ads that run across a series of sites (or web pages) which are all related by topic. For example ‘movies, ‘lifestyle’ etc.
    • Can be combined with other targeting. For example, “iOS users RoC” would mean targeting people on mobile Apple devices on any page in the channel.
  • RoN / Run of Network – ads that run across all available sites through that platform.
    • Can be combined with other targeting. For example, “Recent purchasers 30 Days RoN” would mean targeting people who purchased something in the past 30 days, on any page across the network.
  • Overlay / Floater / Anchor – A type of ad which ‘floats’ on top of a webpage but is still part of that page.
    • People often refer to these as pop-ups, but they are technically different. They are also much more effective than pop-ups as it takes more effort to close them than a separate browser window.
  • Pop-Up / Pop-Under – An ad that opens a new browser window or tab.
    • This ad type is pretty much dead and is only now used by the worst advertisers. They have poor performance and bring in bad revenue.

Bonus Term

RoW – While this isn’t a placement it sounds so much like one that it should be included. RoW stands for “Rest of World” and means any places that aren’t already targeted. For example, you might run specific creatives for the USA, Canada, and the UK with localised pricing.

But then just in case you can find random buyers, you run a further more generic campaign (perhaps without any words, only images and your logo) targeting the rest of the world (or RoW).



10 Ways To Describe Place Where Online Ads Are Shown [Infographic]Click to enlarge