What is it?

Ads.txt is an initiative proposed by the Interactive Advertising Bureau Tech Lab (IAB) to promote and improve transparency in programmatic advertising. It’s an easy way for publishers to clearly indicate to buyers who is authorized to sell their inventory and an initiative that we at Sovrn support 100%.

Great, so why should I care? Is it important?

One way fraudsters game the system is by spoofing legitimate sites. Ads.txt was built to prevent inventory counterfeiting. In addition, it also helps you manage legitimate partnerships like the one you have with Sovrn.  If you have legitimate concerns about your inventory being misrepresented you may benefit from putting Ads.txt on your site, but like all kinds of security, you are better-off with it than without it.

How do I implement it?

Simply publish an Ads.txt file to your web server listing all exchanges that you work with in the format below. Keep in mind that for Sovrn you will need two listings per account you have with us. See the bold example below.

Format: < SSP/Exchange Domain >, < SellerAccountID >, < PaymentsType >, < TAGID >

< SSP/Exchange Domain > is the domain used by your SSP or Exchange. This could be their operational domain, but it is best to ask your partners. For Sovrn it will be lijit.com and sovrn.com.

< SellerAccountID > is your unique ID provided to you by your SSP or Exchange. You will need to reach out to publishersupport@sovrn.com to get your Sovrn account ID.

< PaymentsType > indicates whether your defined SSP/Exchange is a DIRECT or RESELLER relationship. If you run your site and also manage your Sovrn account, then you should put DIRECT in this field. This field is case sensitive.

< TAGID > is optional. This is the ID given to your partner by the Trustworthy and Accountability Group. You will need to reach out to your partners to get this ID if you wish to include it. Sovrn’s TAG ID is fafdf38b16bf6b2b.


Your-awesome-site.com publishes ads.txt on their web server: your-awesome-website.com/ads.txt. The following is listed in the file itself:

sovrn.com, 123456, DIRECT, fafdf38b16bf6b2b

lijit.com, 123456, DIRECT, fafdf38b16bf6b2b

greenadexchange.com, 12345, DIRECT

blueadexchange.com, 4536, DIRECT

silverssp.com, 9675, RESELLER, lksdjfs09qerlk90q

Sites like BusinessInsider.com are supporting Ads.txt – you can listen to a podcast interview with Jana Meron at Business Insider for more detail and see an example of their Ads.txt file here: http://www.businessinsder.com/ads.txt and for further insight, we recommend reading these articles from AdMonsters and DigiDay.

If you have further thoughts or advice, please join the discussion on our Community

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