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ads.txt Emerges from IAB Tech Lab OpenRTB Working Group as a Simple Mechanism for Publishers to Authenticate Businesses that are Allowed to Sell Their Digital Inventory
New York – June 27, 2017 – Centro (centro.net), a provider of enterprise-class software for digital advertising, today announced its support for ads.txt, a specification developed within the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s (IAB) Tech Lab OpenRTB Working Group. ads.txt, which stands for Authorized Digital Sellers, can reduce ad fraud and improve transparency by empowering publishers to declare and publicly list the businesses authorized to sell their digital inventory. ads.txt was originally proposed by Neal Richter (Hebbian Labs) and George Levitte (Google) and then created by Sam Cox (Google). Ian Trider, Centro’s director of RTB platform operations, contributed to the development of the specification. After a month-long public comment period, the development of the ads.txt spec has been finalized and is ready for wide implementation.
In the programmatic advertising ecosystem that integrates agencies, demand-side platforms (DSP), ad networks, ad exchanges, sell-side platforms (SSP), and more, it has become easy for any company to participate, even if they have problematic business behaviors. Until now, the ecosystem lacked a mechanism for buyers to reference whether or not a supplier is authorized to sell a publisher’s digital ad inventory. Publishers had no means to list all the partners they work with. As a result, low quality or fraudulent sellers could falsely represent themselves as selling a given publisher’s inventory. This deteriorated the publisher’s brand and damaged advertisers’ confidence in the programmatic ecosystem.
“ads.txt was created to help buyers connect with legitimate sellers of publisher inventory. Centro has a long history of supporting publishers and believes in sourcing inventory from authorized, known supply channels,” said Centro’s Ian Trider. “This project can deal a major blow to ad fraud purveyors by making it easier for buyers to funnel ad spend only to authorized publisher partners.”
“The IAB Tech Lab appreciates the support of its member companies. Publisher encouragement by organizations such as Centro will have a strong impact in building groundswell and validation for this industry-wide effort to improve transparency for advertisers,” said Alanna Gombert, SVP of technology and ad operations at IAB and GM of IAB Tech Lab.
ads.txt is a simple, flexible and secure method that publishers can use to publicly declare the companies they authorize to sell their digital inventory. Publishers place the ads.txt file on their domains where it acts as a structured index of a publisher’s sellers. The file is publicly available so that DSPs can automatically identify if a seller is a legitimate partner of the publisher. Its simplicity enables publishers to easily create an ads.txt file. Even DSPs’ end customers can confirm the details of ads.txt files. With wide publisher adoption, this effort will improve transparency in the programmatic supply chain and increase advertisers’ confidence in their buying. This project makes it difficult to monetize fraudulent inventory.
The IAB Technology Laboratory is an independent, international, nonprofit research and development consortium charged with producing and helping companies implement global industry technical standards. Comprised of digital publishers and ad technology firms, as well as marketers, agencies, and other companies with interests in the interactive marketing arena, the IAB Tech Lab’s goal is to reduce friction associated with the digital advertising and marketing supply chain, while contributing to the safe and secure growth of the industry.
Centro (centro.net) is a provider of enterprise-class software for digital advertising organizations. Its technology platform centralizes, organizes and automates all digital media campaigns across all channels, accessing both guaranteed and biddable inventory, to achieve any objective. Our holistic approach gives marketers a single system of record to fulfill their research, planning, buying, optimization, reporting and reconciliation needs. Headquartered in Chicago with 32 offices in North America, Centro has received numerous accolades for its commitment to employees and workplace culture.
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