August 14, 2022

Advertiser Vs Publisher – Telling The Difference

Do you recognize an advertiser when you see one?

Do you recognize an advertiser when you see one?

The jargon-filled world of modern marketing featuring ad networks and affiliate marketing may be overwhelming for a young marketer. However, while technology has impacted the media & advertising industries much like every other, the advertiser-publisher relationship is truly evergreen.

The reason is simple. To market a product or service successfully - across online, TV, or Print, you may require various tools and tactics, however, the relationship between the advertiser and the publisher is key.

Let's have a quick look at what both these terms fundamentally mean.


It is someone who owns a product or service to sell and wants ad space to achieve that. Therefore, an advertiser is ready to pay to have 'advertisements' shown to potential customers to boost their sales. They may range from individuals to multinational corporations, but their objective is the same - to sell something.

The advertiser makes money by selling more of the advertised product, and demands 'ROI' (return on investment) from each campaign – i.e. the money they make with the ads must be significantly higher than the money they pay to create and display their ads.

Who is the PUBLISHER?

A publisher is a character or an organization that’s in charge of connecting the advertiser’s product with its potential customer. The dictionary definition of a publisher is “a person or business entity who publishes something”, which in the context of modern marketing can refer to anything from a news website or app to a brand that simply publishes or showcases an advert for clients.

Publishers are responsible for a brand's promotion efforts, as the advertiser trusts them to deliver high traffic. In today's digital era, there are media buyers, who buy online traffic on digital ad networks, webmasters, who gain organic traffic from web pages, and social media marketers, who gather traffic using social channels.

Advertisers Vs Publishers

There are some key differences between advertisers and publishers and the two must work in harmony. This is even more crucial for today's hyper-connected online marketing world as advertisers supply the content and publishers offer the traffic. The advertiser needs to set an attractive offer for the publisher to be motivated to drive traffic, while also making profits driving traffic to the advertiser's page.

Online marketing and selling various products & services online rely heavily on both advertisers and publishers to have a strong working relationship.



The one who pays the money to get his advertisements shown

The one who gets the advertiser’s money to show ads on his/her platform

Owns and controls the product that is being advertised

Directs the user to the advertiser’s page

Also called the retailer or merchant

May be an affiliate, reseller or content brand

Generates revenue by selling product

Generates revenues by selling ad space

Signs up on Google AdWords

Signs up on Google Adsense

Ultimately, the advertiser vs. publisher equation is a distraction from the various roles they play in the wider marketing chain that includes creative agencies, media buyers, and other affiliates. Many premium publishers work with advertiser-publisher networks like Colombia rather than garner individual advertisers themselves.

However, no matter how they source the advert, and in which format - promoted posts, banner ads, text links and lead captures, and potentially, popups or popunders, they are ultimately the destination website (or blog or forum) that broadcasts the advert in question.

Related Posts


Join The You Inc. Tribe

We are a tight-knit community of hustlers, creators & founders obsessed with building our brands, our voices, our way.

We up our game every week - learning from the most badass media founders, business leaders, marketers and content creators from around the world.

Join us. Build your empire.

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.