IABNZ addresses ad fraud scourge with roll out of ads.txt 

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Auckland, March 6: IAB New Zealand announced today (via a trade-media press release) that it is working with major New Zealand publishers, agencies and tech vendors to implement ads.txt, a global IAB initiative designed to eliminate counterfeit inventory in the programmatic advertising ecosystem.

It also urges the entire New Zealand digital advertising industry to adopt ads.txt in order to increase trust and transparency in programmatic advertising.

“Ads.txt (which stands for Authorised Digital Sellers) is a simple, flexible and secure method developed by IAB Tech Labs in New York that publishers and authorised partners can use to publicly declare the companies they have sanctioned to sell their digital inventory,” said IABNZ ceo Adrian Pickstock, in the release.

“Once adopted at scale, buyers can use ads.txt files to shift media spend to authorised supply paths.

“IABNZ board members voted unanimously at our February board meeting to support this initiative,” Pickstock said. “To achieve the greatest impact, the whole industry needs to align with this standard and drive the change necessary to safeguard the digital media sector.

“We’re calling on all New Zealand 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 New Zealand brands.”

NZME chief digital officer Laura Maxwell said: “NZME supports Ads.txt and we strongly encourage other New Zealand media to get behind the initiative too.

“IAB companies supporting ads.txt are NZME, Stuff, TVNZ, Mediaworks, Google NZ, Facebook NZ, Yahoo Platforms NZ, Mi9 NZ, Yellow, Bauer Media, Seek NZ, Metservice, 1st Screen.”

“Media buyers will have the confidence that what they think they are purchasing, will indeed be what they receive, streamlining the process and resulting in a better outcome for everyone. As companies increasingly invest in digital marketing, it is imperative we actively work to make it a safe and transparent environment for legitimate publishers.”

Publishers simply post the “/ads.txt” file on their root domain and any subdomains as needed. This enables programmatic buyers to crawl the web for publisher ads.txt files in order to create a list of authorised sellers for each participating publisher.

Zane Furtado, programmatic director at Acquire Online, said: “Ads.txt prevents domain spoofing by creating a ‘transparent ledger’ between publishers and resellers of their ad inventory. This allows marketers to see who’s truly authorised to sell any given publishers ad space. Ads.txt now enables buyers to reduce fraudulent or resold inventory by comparing the ‘publisher.id’ in the RTB bid request against the entries in the ads.txt file. “

Justine Hickie, GM Digital NZ at MediaCom, believes that brand safety in an online environment is a huge focus for agencies and their clients, but is fraught with complexity.

“The ads.txt mandated implementation is a much needed and welcome change,” she said. “Having greater transparency around inventory selling sources will allow agency traders to more easily & accurately identify safe environment online, ensuring a brands integrity can be protected.”

IABNZ board member companies supporting ads.txt are NZME, Stuff, TVNZ, Mediaworks, Google NZ, Facebook NZ, Yahoo Platforms NZ, Mi9 NZ, Yellow, Bauer Media, Seek NZ, Metservice, 1st Screen.

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