When the Interactive Advertising Bureau's Tech Lab introduced ads.txt earlier this year, it was yet another noble attempt at industry self-regulation of untoward programmatic advertising practices. The idea was that, by incorporating a thin piece of ads.txt code, publishers could weed out third parties that arbitrage their ad inventory without their permission -- or, even worse, drive advertising impressions to "spoof domains." A good idea for sure, but one that requires compliance and scaled adoption for it to be meaningful. Several months into the program, the take rate so far is, well, meh!
Facebook's tepid disclosure last week that Russian operatives placed thousands of paid ads on the social network doesn't go far enough, because it is longer just a "social network." It's now a news broadcaster on the scale of CBS News in its heyday. And it should fall under the same regulatory oversight.
There are still numerous questions to be answered about the true disruptive power of blockchain technology in digital advertising - but the scale is tipping in favor of those who see a bright future for the emergent technology.