IAB Australia rolls out ads.txt initiative to fight ad fraud

IAB Australia is tackling ad fraud with new initiative

IAB Australia has launched an initiative to eliminate counterfeit inventory in the programmatic advertising industry.

The industry body is working with major Australian publishers, agencies and tech vendors to implement ads.txt in a bid to increase trust and transparency in programmatic advertising.

The initiative is part of a global push to encourage the digital advertising industry to adopt ads.txt, which stands for Authorised Digital Sellers.

The method, which was developed by IAB Tech Labs in New York, enables publishers and authorised partners to publicly declare that companies are sanctioned to sell their digital inventory. It also enables programmatic buyers to ensure they invest media spend with authorised sites.

IAB Australia chief executive Vijay Solanki, said, “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.”

More than 200 Australian publishers have adopted the technology, including The Guardian Australia, News Corp Australia, Fairfax Media and Mamamia, however, IAB Australia hopes to increase this to over 1,000.

It follows similar moves in the UK, where publishers and technology companies pledged to raise standards in a bid to create a "Gold Standard" for the industry.

“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, IAB Australia executive consultant, said, “Mass adoption of ads.txt will benefit the entire digital advertising ecosystem. 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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