AppNexus Enforces Ads.txt in Broader Push for Industry Transparency
AppNexus, the world’s leading independent advertising technology company, today announced that it automatically, and without exception, enforces publishers’ ads.txt files by disabling buying on unauthorized sellers through the AppNexus Programmable Platform (APP).
The company was an early promoter of ads.txt, the IAB initiative that gives publishers a standardized way to publicly list all of their authorized programmatic partners in order to prevent unauthorized inventory sales. Now that a critical mass of publishers have adopted ads.txt—over 80% of the top 1000 domains available within the AppNexus marketplace have an ads.txt file—AppNexus disables buying through APP from parties that are not directly identified through the publisher’s ads.txt files as authorized resellers.
“Enforcement of ads.txt furthers our efforts to minimize domain spoofing and increase brand safety for our buyers,” said Ryan Christensen, Chief Operating Officer, AppNexus. “Combined with our established fraud detection and prevention technology, ads.txt compliance strengthens our core commitment to transparency and providing a safe platform for our buyers to purchase media from authentic sellers.”
“Lack of transparency into the programmatic supply chain has hurt our industry immensely and harmed programmatic to hit the full potential it has to offer” said Pim van Boekhold, Head of Programmatic Buying, Greenhouse Group. "The enforcement of ads.txt is an important step forward as the industry comes together to work toward end-to-end transparency across the programmatic supply chain."
Technically, ads.txt is a file that the publisher places on its domain (website.com/ads.txt). Within the file, each approved partner is listed with their tech platform (e.g AppNexus), account detail, and the relationship. Demand Side Platforms (DSPs) and Supply Side Platforms (SSPs) then regularly crawl these files to discover the approved inventory sources. When the IAB rolled out its ads.txt initiative in May 2017, AppNexus encouraged its publisher partners to drop the text file on their web servers and built a free tool to help publishers ensure that their ads.txt files are accurate and up to date.
By January 24, 2018, the date AppNexus began enforcing the policy, over 80% of the top 1000 domains available within the AppNexus marketplace had an ads.txt file – up from roughly two-thirds in mid-November. Since then, pacing and reach for buyers using APP, AppNexus’ recently launched DSP, were not impacted by the enforcement because 98% of spend on top 1000 domains were already compliant. Due to the scale of inventory in AppNexus’ marketplace, buyers were able to continue hitting goals with little change to how spend was allocated.
"As a programmatic buyer, it's our job to ensure quality and authenticity across the ad placements we source for our advertisers,” said John Goulding, Global Strategy Director, Media iQ. "Ads.txt provides a great insight into the valid suppliers of a given website, but its value is only fully realised when the industry's largest marketplaces take action on this insight. AppNexus' stance is an important step forward in this regard."
AppNexus is an internet technology company that enables and optimizes the real-time sale and purchase of digital advertising. Our powerful, real-time decisioning platform supports core products that enable publishers to maximize yield; and marketers and agencies to harness data and machine learning to deliver intelligent and customized campaigns. For more information, follow us at @AppNexus or visit us at appnexus.com.
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