1. Ads.txt OwnerDomain and ManagerDomain

    IAB Tech Lab recently released a new version of the ads.txt standard for comment. This 1.1 update defines two new variables — OWNERDOMAIN and MANAGERDOMAIN — that attempt to solve some outstanding issues with how seller relationships are expressed.

    While these new variables provide useful extra data points, I’m concerned they won’t achieve the wide adoption necessary to make a meaningful difference, and that some of the changes are moving the standard in the wrong direction.

  2. Ad Specs Part 2: Sellers and Supply Chains

    In the previous post I covered the ads.txt standard, and proposed a change to the definition of DIRECT to enable the industry to clean up mislabelled accounts and help tackle domain spoofing.

    But it’s been over 4 years since ads.txt was released, and in the meantime it’s been joined by a pair of newer standards — sellers.json and SupplyChain object. Let’s take a look at these standards, and how they fit in with the proposed ads.txt update.

  3. Ad Specs Part 1: Ads.txt Ambiguity

    Programmatic advertising is a massive, complicated, and largely opaque industry. Thousands of companies buy and sell ad space across the web in real-time auctions, determining what ads you see and how much publishers get paid.

    The ads.txt and sellers.json standards from the IAB Tech Lab have been touted as tools to provide much needed transparency, but problems with the interpretation, implementation, and enforcement of the standards have blunted their impact.

    This is the first in a series of posts diving into these standards and their problems, and suggesting some potential solutions (or at least improvements).