This post was most recently updated on July 12th, 2019
Take a look at the ad tests run by the Guardian US to determine the level of ad fraud and the interesting findings of how video ad inventory and DSPs not utilizing ads.txt files were at the center of it all. Watch the video below for more information!
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The Guardian US along with Google and MightyHive ran ad tests during Q1 of 2018.
They wanted to determine the effectiveness of ads.txt in combating programmatic ad fraud.
Ads.txt, introduced by the IAB in 2017, helps buyers avoid fraudulent sellers using spoofed domains.
Publishers list companies authorized to sell their ad inventory on their ads.txt file which helps advertisers check the validity of the inventory they purchase.
According to Brendan Cleary, VP of programmatic sales at the Guardian US, video and fraud go hand in hand.
Fraud often involves domain spoofing where someone poses as a publisher to sell their ad inventory.
According to their test results, 72% of the video ad spent went to fraudulent inventory sources.
The Guardian’s Cleary says that a lot of domains in the market were representing their video inventory fraudulently.
For the test, two identical buys of the Guardian’s US display and video inventory took place.
One set via Google Display & Video 360 only with ads.txt authorized inventory.
Another through a DSP without ads.txt authorization.
The Guardian and MightyHive compared logs to determine discrepancies.
When ads.txt was used, 100% of inventory for display and video went to legitimate sellers.
Compared to 99% for display and 28% for video when ads.txt was not used.
It is estimated that video had the highest discrepancies because of the high cost involved.
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