Appendix III—Government of Canada advertising glossary—2016 to 2017 Annual report on Government of Canada advertising activities

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Any message conveyed in Canada or abroad and paid for by the government for placement in media, including but not limited to newspapers, television, radio, cinema, billboards and other out-of-home media, mobile devices, the internet, and any other digital medium.
Advertising activities
Activities relating to the production and placement of advertising. These activities include campaign planning, creative development, pre-testing, production, media planning, placement of advertising and evaluation.
Advertising services supplier
A private sector supplier selected through a competitive process to provide a government institution with advertising services, such as strategic planning, creative and production services in support of an advertising initiative.
Advertising technology provider
A private sector supplier, selected through a competitive process, which maintains various platforms to serve, track and report on federal digital advertisements, including an ad server to host and serve display advertising, a demand-side platform for programmatic advertising buys, and a data management platform with standardized information on campaign performance and results.
Agency of record
A private sector supplier, selected through a competitive process, which plans, negotiates, consolidates, purchases and verifies advertising media space and time for government advertising.
Buy and sell
The electronic-tendering system used by the Government of Canada to post searchable procurement notices and bid-solicitation documents for access by suppliers and contracting officers. For more information, please see
Digital display advertising
Advertising in different text, image and audio formats, such as banner or big box ads published on a website for viewing by site visitors.
Media buy or placement
The purchase of advertising space and time from a media outlet, such as a television station, radio station, newspaper, magazine, website, cinema, out-of-home, etc.
Advertising media to which audiences are exposed outside the home such as mall posters, billboards, bus and transit-shelter advertisements, digital screens and kiosks, etc.
Non-partisan communications

In the context of all Government of Canada communications products and activities, non-partisan is defined as follows:

  • it is objective, factual and explanatory
  • it is free from political party slogans, images, identifiers; bias; designation; or affiliation
  • the primary colour associated with the governing party is not used in a dominant way, unless an item is commonly depicted in that colour
  • advertising is devoid of any name, voice or image of a minister, member of parliament or senator
Programmatic (Real time bidding)
A data-driven programmatic buying model allowing advertisers or their agencies to bid on digital media space (display, video, mobile, social, etc.) in real-time, at the impression level (source: Interactive Advertising Bureau of Canada).
Promoted posts
Paid advertising option on social media platforms to increase the likelihood of an institution's post being seen by a key audience.
Public notices
Public notices, such as those providing information about requests for tenders, public hearings, offers of employment, and changes to business hours and addresses are a form of advertising. Public notices often deal with routine regional or local matters, and institutions have the option to purchase the media for public notices themselves or to use the services of the Government of Canada's agency of record.
Request for proposal
A formal government document, posted on, through which advertising services suppliers are invited to submit proposals for creative advertising work on complex thematic and multi-component projects usually spanning more than one year. Proposals are evaluated according to criteria detailed in each RFP. Contracts are awarded through a competitive process in which selection is based on a combination of technical score and price offering best value.
Search engine marketing
A form of advertising used to promote websites and attract visitors by increasing their visibility in search engine results, on search engine platforms.
Social media
Interactive web-based tools that encourage users to collaborate, create, generate and distribute content and to customize applications.
Standing offer
An arrangement in which advertising services suppliers qualify from a pool of pre-screened advertising services suppliers to provide the government with goods and services at pre-arranged prices, under set terms and conditions, and for specific periods of time on an “as requested” basis. A standing offer is not a contract.
Supply arrangement
A method of supply where bids are requested from a pool of pre-screened advertising services suppliers. A supply arrangement is not a contract.

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