Category trees - Introduction

This article describes how to use the basic features of the category tree

More information on the navigation within categories can be found here.


Mercury's flexible category system allows you to display organizational structures. For example, you can create hierarchical structures for different locations, clients, product categories or products. There are no limitations when it comes to structure or number of levels.

Examples of category paths:

  • Frankfurt > Client A > Furniture > Tables > Dining tables > Rustic > 2017

  • Hamburg > Client B > Insurance > Car insurance

Think of categories being like folders, except that categories in Mercury offers several advantages not available in a folder system.

Advantages of categories

Using a hierarchical category structure has a number of advantages:

  • Categories help users keep track of data in the system.

  • Administrators can use categories to specify which users can access specific data in the system. Click here for more information about roles and permissions.

  • Use categories to store specific data used for media plans (e.g. fees, invoicing data, ad server conditions) and have it centrally available. This makes it easier to access important data and reduces errors because only users with the relevant permissions can manage that data.

Inheritance in category trees

Data stored in a category is "inherited," i.e. automatically available in all subcategories in the category tree. 

Example 1: 

The system has the following category structure:

  • Client A

    • Product 1

    • Product category 1

      • Product 2

  • Client B

    • Product 3

A fee model of 5% on media cost is assigned to the "Client A" category. This fee model is automatically available in the subcategories "Product 1", "Product category 1" and "Product 2”. It is, however, not available in the subcategory "Product 3" as this category is not a subcategory of "Client A”.

Example 2:

In the same structure as in example 1 the role "Media planning" under "Product category 1" has been assigned to the user "Thomas".

Thomas can now perform all tasks defined for the "Media planning" role under "Product category 1" and "Product 2”. He does not have permission to perform these tasks in the remaining categories.

Example 3:

A client cash discount of 2% is assigned to "Product category 1" in the same structure. The client cash discount under "Product 2" is modified to 0%.

Then, a maximum cash discount of 2% is applied to plan items in campaigns directly under "Product category 1”. The maximum cash discount under "Product 2" is 0%. In other words, the value under "Product category 1" was overwritten in the subcategory.

Example 4:

A technical component for tracking creatives up to 200 KB is added to "Client A”. This component is now available in all subcategories of "Client A”.

Another technical component for ads up to 500 KB is then added to "Product 1”. This will be available in "Product 1" but not in "Product category 1" or "Product 2”.

Note: Category roles, fee models, client cash discounts and technical components can only be managed by persons with the relevant permissions.