Staff Reporters
May 23, 2019

IAB Australia blesses apps-ads.txt to fight fraud

The organisation advises publishers to use, and digital buyers to actively look for, app-ads.txt files along with ads.txt files.

IAB Australia blesses apps-ads.txt to fight fraud

IAB Australia announced that apps-ads.txt, its authorised inventory product for advertising within in-app environments on mobile and OTT (over-the-top) and any other app inventory, is now ready for adoption.

The organisation advised digital buyers to actively look for app-ads.txt files along with ads.txt files when reviewing inventory, to help shift programmatic media spend to authorised supply paths. Additionally, IAB recommended that local publishers adopt the solution immediately to limit the ability of criminal entities to profit via counterfeit programmatic advertising inventory.

App-ads.txt is an extension of last year’s ads.txt (authorised digital sellers) solution. It is a simple, flexible and secure method that publishers and authorised partners can use to publicly declare the companies they have sanctioned to sell their digital inventory, the IAB said.

This article is filed under Tech Talk: A collection of brief news items on programmatic buying, mobile ads and all forms of adtech and martech tools and platforms.

Georgina Fox, publisher partnerships and supply director, GroupM: 

As an industry it is imperative that we work together to combat fraud in any way we can, utilising the technology we have available. The adoption of app-ads.txt will further increase confidence for buyers, sellers and importantly for app developers. The adoption of ads.txt provided an increase in advertiser and publisher confidence, and it is fantastic that we can now extend this to app.

Jonas Jaanimagi, IAB Australia tech lead:

IAB Australia and our members have been delighted by the high levels of adoption of the ads.txt standard in Australia for desktop advertising and are optimistic of this now being successfully replicated with app-ads.txt for in-app inventory. Simple critical technical standards such as these require widescale adoption and support to be truly useful in practice and it’s only through these types of cross-industry collaboration and technical diligence that we will be able to tackle serious ongoing issues such as advertising fraud.

IAB Australia provided the following description of how app-ads.txt works

App-ads.txt supports apps distributed through online app stores, linking app store listings to app developer websites. A standard process is provided in the documentation to help publishers obtain the app developer’s website URL from an app listing page in an app store. App developers publishing authorizations in an app-ads.txt file on the developer’s website centralize this configuration into an online resource that the developer independently controls. Using a developer domain creates a universal namespace, which may help identify and block instances of unauthorized developer impersonation.

 

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