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Ads.txt – A spam cleaner drive initiated by the IAB


Throughout the history of time, humans have used the method of deception as a tool to get what they want and sadly, the same applies even today! The advertising industry has flourished over the years, but this billion-dollar industry has also attracted a million scammers, who have used methods of
deception and want to be a part of the game without doing the hard work.


The deceptive method of scamming, became a huge problem for anyone who was buying programmatic ads. As opposed to the traditional method of media buying and selling, where the negotiations are done manually, Programmatic ad buying and selling refers to the purchase of digital inventory, typically using a software on the internet making it easier for the scam artists to device and execute their plans. The scammer buys cheap ad space from a low budget site and lists it as premium ad space on an exchange for a much higher price, thus making a profit. For this very reason, the ads.txt project (Authorized Digital Sellers) was envisioned and conceived by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) Ads.txt lets the publisher publicly declare the companies they authorize to sell their digital space, giving publishers control over their digital space and in the process, creating great transparency in the advertising ecosystem.


Integrating ads.txt is a simple process and can be done in a short period of time. All you have to do is gather all of the information that you need which makes your space available to advertisers and then create a .txt file on notepad and name it ads.txt with rules set by IAB and then upload the file in the root of your domain and not the subdomain, after which you must upload the text file to your website.


Publishers putting the Ads.txt text file on their page will have more credibility as it shows that they care about the buyers’ side and what channels must the advertisers buy their digital space from. Ads.txt gives publishers more control over their digital inventory, making it more difficult for fraudsters to sell counterfeit digital inventory. Adopting this method will greatly benefit the advertisers as it will become much easier for them to identify an authorized digital seller, allowing them to have more confidence that what they are buying is authentic and they wouldn’t be cheated.


Thus, this method is beneficial for both the buyer (advertisers) and the sellers (publishers) and a great way to keep the scammers out of sight.


Although ads.txt has a limitation of currently working on mobile web and desktop inventory only. IAB is continuously working to integrate it even with the in-app inventory, in the near future. Sooner or later, buyers will only opt for publishers who have taken up this method so that they do not get cheated.


Therefore, it is advisable for publishers to adopt the ads.txt method to protect their buyers and preserve their credibility.