ADS.txt Enforcement Gets Real
We’re almost one year into the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s ads.txt initiative and DSP enforcement is starting to happen. Before we get into the story some of you may not be totally versed in ads.txt, so let me give you a quick primer.
In May 2017 the IAB’s Tech Lab introduced ads.txt as a way to weed out forms of ad fraud like domain spoofing and arbitrage bait-and-switching. Here’s how it works. Publishers whose inventory is accessed through the DSPs can use ads.txt to list the names of authorized brokers/networks who can sell their inventory. This allows the DSPs to make sure the 3rd party they’re buying a publisher’s inventory from is on the nice list to ensure they’re legit.
According to comScore currently about 60% of the top 1,000 publishers have adopted the ads.txt protocol, which is enough critical mass to make it an industry norm. As a result DSPs like MediaMath are using ads.txt as a way to check brokers’ credentials and are beginning to kick the non-authorized suppliers off their platform.
The enforcement is just starting to happen, but it’s at least a baby step in the right direction. As ads.txt verification picks up steam more bad actors should be cleansed from the DSPs. Hopefully this will become a deterrent to new scammers who might think twice about junking up the digital marketplace in the future.