The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) Tech Lab on Wednesday announced a new offering aimed at eliminating the “black market” for digital ad inventory.
Known as ads.txt, the tool is an index of authorized sellers that publishers can post to their sites. Programmatic ad buyers can in turn use the files to screen for fake or misrepresented ad placements.
The comment period for ads.txt ends on June 19, after which the comments will be evaluated by the IAB OpenRTB Working Group, which developed the tool. The final version will include any necessary revisions.
“The ads.txt tool will help publishers shine a light on the legitimate sellers for their inventory, so brands and agencies will know when they are dealing with a legitimate programmatic reseller, and when they are not,” stated Mike Zaneis, CEO of the Trustworthy Accountability Group (TAG). “It adds another vital component to our collaborative industrywide efforts to validate legitimate companies, add transparency to inventory, and ultimately stop criminals from defrauding our industry of billions of dollars.”
TAG, a “supply chain safety organization," will refer ads.txt to its Business Transparency Committee with the goal of helping increase adoption of the tool throughout the industry.