Why Publishers Need to Make Ads.txt a Priority

I am all for transparency in the digital advertising ecosystem. To many middlemen not adding value and publisher losing money. I also have reservation when it comes to certifications supposedly protecting against fraud. But over the last few months, I have put a lot of energy in understanding the real role of ads.txt in the programmatic supply chain.

Based on IAB, the mission of the ads.txt project is simple: Increase transparency in the programmatic advertising ecosystem. ads.txt stands for Authorized Digital Sellers and is a simple, flexible and secure method that publishers and distributors can use to publicly declare the companies they authorize to sell their digital inventory.

Ads.txt is a file for publishers to protecting them from domain spoofing and securing ad revenue from advertisers. They create more transparency by identifying the technology providers used by sales organizations allowed to represent and sell their ad inventory. In other words, it is a file integrated on a site to verify who owns the right of selling the ad inventory and shows the ownership of that inventory; Direct or Reseller. It is important to understand that level of ownership is associated with the adtech account ownership and not the site property. In fact, if a sale organization that make the sale is the organization getting the payment from the adtech and/or the advertiser.

Let’s address the elephant in the room – How does Google treats this?

Use Ad Manager to create ads.txt/app-ads.txt files to identify who is authorized to sell your inventory.

Use of ads.txt/app-ads.txt is not mandatory, but is highly recommended. It can help protect your brand from counterfeit inventory that’s intentionally mislabelled as originating from a specific domain, app, or video. Declaring authorized sellers can help you receive advertiser spend that might have otherwise gone toward counterfeit inventory.

What is ads.txt?

Authorized Digital Sellers for Web, or ads.txt, is an IAB initiative to improve transparency in programmatic advertising. You can create your own ads.txt files to identify who is authorized to sell your inventory. The files are publicly available and crawlable by exchanges, Supply-Side Platforms (SSP), and other buyers and third-party vendors.

What is app-ads.txt?

Authorized Sellers for Apps, or app-ads.txt, is an extension to the Authorized Digital Sellers standard. It expands compatibility to support ads shown in mobile apps and ensures your app ad inventory is only sold through channels you’ve identified as authorized. Creating an app-ads.txt file gives you more control over who’s allowed to sell ads on your app and helps prevent counterfeit inventory from being presented to advertisers. 

The app-ads.txt files are publicly available and crawlable by exchanges, supply-side platforms (SSP), and other buyers and third-party vendors.

The reason I am bringing up google in the story is that it allows buy-side (just like other DSP’s probably) to choose the level of authorization they require from their sale representatives.

Now that programmatic buyers have the capability to choose the level of authorization to sellers, it is clear that is now is more than ever to put ads.txt page up to date.

#ads.txt #sellers.json #programmatic