IAB Australia Tackles Ad Fraud Head-on With New Global Initiative

IAB Australia Tackles Ad Fraud Head-on With New Global Initiative

IAB Australia has announced it has been working with major Australian publishers, agencies and tech vendors to implement ads.txt, a global IAB initiative designed to eliminate counterfeit inventory in the programmatic advertising ecosystem.

Ads.txt (which stands for authorised digital sellers) is a simple, flexible and secure method developed by IAB Tech Labs in New York that publishers and authorised partners can use to publicly declare the companies they have sanctioned to sell their digital inventory. 

Publishers simply post the ‘/ads.txt’ file on their root domain and any subdomains as needed. This enables programmatic buyers to crawl the web for publisher ads.txt files in order to create a list of authorised sellers for each participating publisher. 

Once adopted at scale, buyers can use ads.txt files to shift media spend to authorised supply paths. 

IAB is urging the entire Aussie digital advertising industry to adopt ads.txt in order to increase trust and transparency in programmatic advertising. 

“We’ve been encouraged by the response so far to ads.txt, but we need the entire digital ecosystem to get on board in order to drive wholesale changes and to ensure the full potential of ads.txt is realised,” IAB Australia CEO Vijay Solanki said. 

“I’m calling upon all Australian publishers to adopt ads.txt to help stamp out ad fraud and give buyers the confidence that the inventory they are buying is legitimate. 

“We need to act collaboratively in order to continue to drive progress in our industry and help provide a safe programmatic environment for Australian brands.” 

Jonas Jaanimagi, an executive consultant at IAB Australia and a recognised ad tech expert, has been working with publishers, agencies and programmatic exchanges to support the implementation of ads.txt. 

To date, over 200 Australian publishers have adopted and are supporting the technology, including The Guardian Australia, News Corp Australia, Fairfax Media and Mamamia. IAB Australia would like to see this figure increase to over 1,000 to achieve critical mass.  

“Mass adoption of ads.txt will benefit the entire digital advertising eco system,” Jaanimagi said. 

“Sellers will be protected from spoofing and buyers can buy programmatically with greater confidence from domains with this simple solution in place. 

“The wide-scale adoption of ads.txt will give major brands peace of mind that their marketing messages will only appear on verified domains, significantly improving brand safety and eliminating any risk of ad fraud.”

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