The following patent application from Yahoo describes an interface for advertising that can be used for banner ads, and for sponsored listing advertisements.
The idea behind it is to limit the number of screens and interfaces that an advertiser may need to use, and simplify the process of setting up, managing, and measuring the impact of ads.
Universal advertisement services architecture
Invented by M.S. Kiumarse Zamanian and Hongche Liu
Assigned to Yahoo
US Patent Application 20060282314
Published December 14, 2006
Filed: June 10, 2005
A universal advertisement services system provides a common framework for managing web-based advertisement campaigns associated with various kinds of advertisement formats and advertisement pricing mechanisms. A unified set of interfaces is provided for advertisement configuration, fetching, arbitration and optimization, and advertisement campaign validation, exposing services to external parties as well as internal users. The universal advertisement services system enables delivery of an optimal available guaranteed or performance-based advertisement for a specified position in a web page and based on given business rules and metrics.