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IAB Tech Lab Seeking Feedback for Mobile App Support for Ads.txt

Guidance for In-App Use of Crucial Ad Fraud Protection Spec Released for 30-Day Public Comment

NEW YORK, NY (June 6, 2018) —The IAB Technology Laboratory today released “Mobile App Support for Ads.txt.” Building on the existing ads.txt, this guidance is for business and operations teams that focus on in-app advertising to facilitate ad fraud protection within mobile app marketing. This proposal is in public comment for 30 days.

The guidance addresses a number of key factors, including:

  • How to use OpenRTB bid requests to find app identifiers
  • How mobile app developers can use web domains to host ads.txt files
  • How buyers can go look for mobile app ads.txt files

With regard to the latter, the proposal takes advantage of many app stores’ support for developers specifying a related domain when they add an app to a store. The specified domain can be used to obtain the ads.txt file associated with a mobile app. The guidance presents ways to connect the bundle ID in the app store to the domain value for an app, allowing parties to look up the ads.txt file on that domain.

The mobile-app guidance also recommends applying similar steps when using the soon-to-be-released ads.cert spec, which authenticates ad space by using cryptographic security technology.

Ads.txt, which is a simple, flexible and secure method that publishers and distributors can use to publicly declare the companies they authorize to sell their digital inventory has seen over 2 million domains of publishers adopt the spec since its marketplace release in June 2017.

“Given the dominance of mobile in general and apps more specifically, it is critical that we bring ad fraud solutions to the mobile app landscape,” said Dennis Buchheim, Senior Vice President and General Manager, IAB Tech Lab. “Combined, ads.txt and ads.cert offer a one-two punch in combating ad fraud, and their benefits should go a long way in protecting brands and publishers in in-app environments.”

The guidance is available for public comment through July 6, 2018. The OpenRTB Working Group, which stewards ads.txt, aims to achieve buy-in for this proposed solution, particularly from app stores, and receive technical feedback to refine and improve the solution. To review the document, please visit www.iabtechlab.com/mobile-ads-txt. Questions and comments can be sent to [email protected].

About IAB Technology Laboratory
The IAB Technology Laboratory (“Tech Lab”) is a non-profit research and development consortium that produces and provides standards, software, and services to drive growth of an effective and sustainable global digital media ecosystem. Comprised of digital publishers and ad technology firms, as well as marketers, agencies, and other companies with interests in the interactive marketing arena, IAB Tech Lab aims to enable brand and media growth via a transparent, safe, effective supply chain, simpler and more consistent measurement, and better advertising experiences for consumers, with a focus on mobile and “TV”/digital video channel enablement. The IAB Tech Lab portfolio includes the DigiTrust real-time standardized identity service designed to improve the digital experience for consumers, publishers, advertisers, and third-party platforms. Board members include AppNexus, ExtremeReach, Google, GroupM, Hearst Digital Media, Integral Ad Science, Index Exchange, LinkedIn, MediaMath, Microsoft, Oracle’s Moat, Pandora, PubMatic, Quantcast, Telaria, The Trade Desk, and Yahoo! Japan. Established in 2014, the IAB Tech Lab is headquartered in New York City with an office in San Francisco and representation in Seattle and London.

IAB Media Contact
Laura Goldberg
347.683.1859
[email protected]