Ads.txt Partner Interaction

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Partner Interaction Guide for ads.txt Specification Living Document - Updated August 2017

OVERVIEW

The mission of the ads.txt project is simple: Increase transparency in the programmatic advertising ecosystem. Ads.txt will give publishers a means to publicly declare the companies authorized to sell their digital inventory. By creating a public record of Authorized Digital Sellers, ads.txt will give publishers control over their inventory in the market, making it harder for bad actors to profit from selling counterfeit inventory across the ecosystem. As publishers adopt ads.txt, buyers will be able to more easily identify the Authorized Digital Sellers for a participating publisher, allowing brands to have confidence they are buying authentic publisher inventory.

This document is to guide conversations between partners as part of the ads.txt initiative. The goal is to ensure each partner shares a correct and complete set of information.

INTERACTIONS

  • Publisher talking to an Exchange/SSP
  • Publisher (Content Owner) talking to a Syndicator (Video)
  • Publisher talking to a Network
  • Networks talking to Exchanges
  • Exchanges talking to Sellers/Publishers


Publisher talking to an Exchange/SSP

Domain owners who work with exchanges directly may reach out to all the exchanges where they are account owners (meaning they are paid directly by the exchange) and ask them a series of questions to make sure that they have the data required for their ads.txt file.

Background: Domain owners may choose to use the ads.txt file to make public the Publisher ID associated with all of their Authorized Digital Sellers in order to ensure transparency of who is authorized to sell or resell their inventory. The publisher.id can be found in section 3.2.10 of the OpenRTB protocol, found here (in the publisher object).

Any of the following would qualify to be included in the Authorized Digital Sellers of a domain:

  • the Domain Owner themselves;
  • An Exchange authorized to sell inventory on behalf of the Domain Owner
  • a Network authorized to sell inventory on an exchange on behalf of the Domain Owner;
  • a Sales House or Representative firm authorized to sell inventory on an exchange on behalf of the Domain Owner;
  • an Exchange who is authorized to sell inventory on another exchange on behalf of the Domain Owner; or
  • a Content Syndicator who is authorized to sell inventory on behalf of the Domain Owner.

Many exchanges can have different Publisher ID’s for the same account owner. Some exchanges have a Publisher ID for each integration method, such as when they have a call from a header tag vs. a call from an ad tag in the Publisher’s ad server, or from a server to server connection. This means that for any Publisher account owner, they can have multiple Publisher ID’s that map to their account. In order to make sure that buyers are aware of all of the domain owners Publisher ID’s in any given exchange, and obtain the exchange’s consent (if required) for the domain owner to publish this information in their domain’s ads.txt file, a domain owner needs to make sure that they ask the exchange questions about their setup.

Questions for Exchanges:

1) What are the Publisher ID(s) for my domain that you (the exchange) put in the RTB call (specifically in the publisher.id field of the publisher object) sent to buyers?

2) Do you (the exchange) have different Publisher ID’s for different ways that you work with me (domain owner)?

3) I work with you through a Header Tag, can you send me the Publisher ID that corresponds to that integration?

4) I work with you through a tag in my ad server, can you send me the Publisher ID that corresponds to that integration?

5) I work with you through a server to server integration, can you send me the Publisher ID that corresponds to that integration?

6) Are there any other Publisher ID’s that are connected to the account that I own?

7) Do you (the exchange) offer my inventory on any other exchanges on my behalf?

a) (If you (the domain owner) consents to this, you will need to have the exchange get the Publisher ID that they are using when they sell inventory on other exchanges. For a script to facilitate this conversation, please look at the script for Networks talking to Exchanges)

8) Can I have consent to expose these IDs on my site via ads.txt?


Publisher (Content Owner) talking to a Syndicator (e.g., Video)

Producers who work with video hosting platforms that syndicate their content may reach out to the syndicators that are authorized to sell inventory on behalf of the Domain Owner, and ask them a series of questions to make sure that they have the data required for their ads.txt file. If you do not authorize a syndicator to sell your inventory on an exchange on your behalf, do not post their information to your domain’s ads.txt file.

Background: Domain owners may choose to use the ads.txt file to make public the Publisher ID associated with all of their Authorized Digital Sellers. The publisher.id can be found in section 3.2.10 of the OpenRTB protocol, found here (in the publisher object).

Authorized Digital Sellers can be:

  • the Domain Owner themselves;
  • a Network authorized to sell inventory on an exchange on behalf of a Domain Owner;
  • a Sales House or Representative firm authorized to sell inventory on an exchange on behalf of a Domain Owner;
  • an Exchange who is authorized to sell inventory on another exchange on behalf of a Domain Owner; or
  • a Content Syndicator who is authorized to sell inventory on behalf of a Domain Owner.

Many syndicators can have different Publisher ID’s for the same account owner. Some syndicators have a Publisher ID for each integration method, such as when they have a call from a header tag vs. a call from an ad tag in the Publisher’s ad server, or from a server to server connection. This means that for any Publisher account owner, they can have multiple Publisher ID’s that map to their account. In order to make sure that buyers are aware of all of the domain owners Publisher ID’s in any given exchange, and obtain the exchange’s consent (if required) for the domain owner to publish this information in their domain’s ads.txt file, a domain owner needs to make sure that they ask the exchange questions about their setup.

Publisher talking to a Network

Domain owners who work with Networks may reach out to all the Networks that are authorized to sell inventory on Exchanges on behalf the Domain Owner, and ask them a series of questions to make sure that they have the data required for their ads.txt file. If you do not authorize a Network to sell your inventory on an exchange on your behalf, do not post their information to your domain’s ads.txt file.

Background: Domain owners may choose to use the ads.txt file to make public the Publisher ID associated with all of their Authorized Digital Sellers. publisher.id can be found in section 3.2.10 of the OpenRTB protocol, found here (in the publisher object).

Authorized Digital Sellers can be:

  • the Domain Owner themselves;
  • a Network authorized to sell inventory on an exchange on behalf of a Domain Owner;
  • a Sales House or Representative firm authorized to sell inventory on an exchange on behalf of a Domain Owner;
  • an Exchange who is authorized to sell inventory on another exchange on behalf of a Domain Owner; or
  • a Content Syndicator who is authorized to sell inventory on behalf of a Domain Owner.

Many exchanges can have different Publisher ID’s for the same account owner. Some exchanges have a Publisher ID for each integration method, such as when they have a call from a header tag vs. a call from an ad tag in the Publisher’s ad server, or from a server to server connection. This means that for any Publisher account owner, they can have multiple Publisher ID’s that map to their account. In order to make sure that buyers are aware of all of the domain owners Publisher ID’s in any given exchange, and obtain the exchange’s consent (if required) for the domain owner to publish this information in their domain’s ads.txt file, a domain owner needs to make sure that they ask the exchange questions about their setup.

Questions for Exchanges: 1) What are the Publisher ID(s) that you (the exchange) put in the RTB call (specifically in the publisher.id field of the publisher object) sent to buyers?

2) Do you (the exchange) have different Publisher ID’s for different ways that you work with me (domain owner)?

3) I work with you through a Header Tag, can you send me the Publisher ID that corresponds to that integration?

4) I work with you through a tag in my ad server, can you send me the Publisher ID that corresponds to that integration?

5) I work with you through a server to server integration, can you send me the Publisher ID that corresponds to that integration?

6) Are there any other Publisher ID’s that are connected to the account that I own?

7) Do you (the exchange) offer my inventory on any other exchanges on my behalf? a) (If you (the domain owner) consents to this, you will need to have the exchange get the Publisher ID that they are using when they sell inventory on other exchanges. For a script to facilitate this conversation, please look at the script for Networks talking to Exchanges)


Networks talking to Exchanges

Networks who are authorized to work with exchanges on behalf of Domain Owners may reach out to all the exchanges where they are account owners (meaning they are paid directly by the exchange) and ask them a series of questions to make sure that they have the data required for the Domain Owner’s ads.txt file so that the Domain Owner’s inventory sold through their authorized Network partners can be identified by buyers.

Background: Domain owners may choose to use the ads.txt file to make public the Publisher ID associated with all of their Authorized Digital Sellers. publisher.id can be found in section 3.2.10 of the OpenRTB protocol, found here (in the publisher object).

Authorized Digital Sellers can be:

  • the Domain Owner themselves;
  • a Network authorized to sell inventory on an exchange on behalf of a Domain Owner;
  • a Sales House or Representative firm authorized to sell inventory on an exchange on behalf of a Domain Owner;
  • an Exchange who is authorized to sell inventory on another exchange on behalf of a Domain Owner; or
  • a Content Syndicator who is authorized to sell inventory on behalf of a Domain Owner.

Many exchanges can have different Publisher ID’s for the same account owner. Some exchanges have a Publisher ID for each integration method, such as when they have a call from a header tag vs. a call from an ad tag in the Publisher’s ad server, or from a server to server connection. This means that for any Publisher account owner, they can have multiple Publisher ID’s that map to their account. In order to make sure that buyers are aware of all of the domain owners Publisher ID’s in any given exchange, and obtain the exchange’s consent (if required) for the domain owner to publish this information in their domain’s ads.txt file, a domain owner needs to make sure that they ask the exchange questions about their setup.

Questions for Exchanges: 1) What is the Publisher ID that you (the exchange) puts in the RTB call for my account that you (exchange) send to buyers across the exchange?

2) Do you (the exchange) have different Publisher ID’s for different ways that you work with me (domain owner)?

3) I work with you (the exchange) through a Header Tag, can you (the exchange) send me the Publisher ID that corresponds to that integration?

4) I work with you (the exchange) through a tag in my ad server, can you (the exchange) send me the Publisher ID that corresponds to that integration?

5) I work with you (the exchange) through a server to server integration, can you (the exchange) send me the Publisher ID that corresponds to that integration?

6) Are there any other Publisher ID’s that are connected to the account that I own?

7) Do you (the exchange) offer my inventory on any other exchanges on my behalf?

a) (If you (the Domain Owner and the Network) consent to this, you will need to have the exchange get the Publisher ID that they are using when they sell inventory on other exchanges.)

Combination scenarios:

Example: Video syndication monetized via an exchange or network.

  • This is an open item we expect to resolve during the public open comments period*

Embedded video players are acceptable under the standard, but the Publisher ID will correspond to the publisher hosting the video content rather than the domain where the player is embedded.


Exchanges talking to Publishers and Sellers

[content to come]