The use of the fraud-prevention system Ads.txt is taking off, but it still has a long way to go. Of the top 1,000 publishers in the U.S., 60 percent are using it, while 40 percent still aren’t on board. Why are they lagging behind? To find out what today’s ad execs think, Oath commissioned an Ads.txt survey. It questioned over 220 advertisers and agency execs about their feelings on the system.
Ads.txt was created to eliminate fraudulent inventory, and it’s having an effect: Over 50 percent of those surveyed said ads.txt made them more comfortable buying programmatically. And nearly 50 percent are suspicious of any publishers that still don’t use the system.
Don’t think Ads.txt is just for display. Video ad buyers need safeguards, as well:
“As consumer interest in video has exploded, some advertisers have unfortunately spent significantly on fake video inventory from unauthorized resellers,” notes Tim Mahlman, president of advertising and publisher strategy for Oath. “For video inventory and beyond, brands want greater transparency from their media partners. Publishers that have embraced Ads.txt have taken a positive step toward delivering that. It’s a more secure way to publicly identify the platforms authorized to sell publisher inventory, limiting bad actors. And it gives advertisers a more accurate representation of media impressions and who’s selling them.”
At the moment, one-third of buyers will only advertise on platforms that use Ads.txt. That’s higher than the nearly 20 percent of advertisers who haven’t even heard of the system. For anyone who’s read this far and doesn’t quite know what Ads.txt is, it was created by the IAB and this Ads.txt guide covers all the basics.
Considering that the system is only a year old, Mahlman doesn’t find it surprising that one-fifth of advertisers have never heard of it. As advertisers demand greater transparency, he thinks the education gap will shrink quickly.
Oath created an infographic to highlight its Ads.txt survey results. Scroll down to view it.