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Ads.txt has gained adoption, but 19 percent of advertisers still haven’t heard of it

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It has been nearly a year since the Interactive Advertising Bureau Tech Lab introduced ads.txt as a way to ward off certain forms of programmatic ad fraud. In that time, publisher adoption and advertiser enforcement of ads.txt have increased.

But the industry effort still has work to do. A sizable share of ad buyers have no idea what ads.txt is, and a similar percentage of publishers have errors in their ads.txt files, which list the ad tech firms authorized to sell publishers’ inventory programmatically. Here are five charts that show how far ads.txt has come and how far it still has to go.

Many ad buyers don’t know what ads.txt is
Most ad buyers are aware of ads.txt, but 19 percent of ad buyers have never heard of ads.txt, according to an Oath-commissioned survey of 222 advertisers and agencies by Advertiser Perceptions in February 2018. “There’s more education that needs to be done,” said Oath President Tim Mahlman, who told his sales organization that it needs to do a better job of schooling its clients on ads.txt.

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