It actually stands for Cost Per Thousand Impressions, or, in English, the amount you spend for every thousand times someone sees your ad.
Where the M comes in? I have no idea.
In any case, the Outdoor Advertising Association of America (OAAA) has done many (boring) studies to figure these things out.
The result: (not as boring, take a look!)
A magazine advertisement costs $21.46 per thousand impressions. An outdoor ad, such as a billboard, has an even better CPM, at $3.56. But look!
Vehicle wraps cost just THIRTY FIVE CENTS per THOUSAND impressions.
That's $0.00035 a person!
I don't know about you, but where I come from, they call that a bargain.
The "Look! It's a Giant Puppy!" effect
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