Many publishers have chosen to host their website within secure, encrypted environments to protect their reader’s private information. This is most common with social networking sites that collect location, interest and personal information from their users and e-commerce sites that store and process payment information. These secure sites are hosted on the HTTPS protocol, or SSL.

Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) is the standard security protocol for establishing an encrypted link (“”) between a web server and a browser. This link ensures that all data passed between the web server and browsers remain private and secure.

Prior to this release, Sovrn tags, ads, and tracking pixels were not in compliance with SSL (“https”) sites. This meant that for 3rd party ad servers that required this compliance (ie. DFP), Sovrn ad tags would not be able to render ads due to their being “http” and not “https”compliant.

“SSL compliance gives publishers more options with which to provide their audiences a safer experience on their sites,” said Tony Casson, Senior Product Manager at Sovrn. “Increasingly brands are also requiring encryption in order to buy ads within secure environments.”

New Protocol-Relative Ad Tags

Sovrn tags are now SSL compliant, so when tags are created in Meridian they will call HTTPS ads and transfer via SSL by default. The tags will continue to work perfectly on non-SSL sites. Another term for the way these new tags work is “protocol-relative,” meaning they will serve creatives based on the protocol (HTTP or HTTPS) the request is sent from. So if the request is HTTP the creatives will be non-SSL, and if the request is HTTPS the creative will be 100% SSL-compliant.

SSL-compliant advertisers will now be able to by secure inventory through the Sovrn Ad Exchange, providing publishers with additional sources of SSL-compliant demand, increasing competition and revenue. Only demand sources able to honor SSL ad requests with compliant ad creatives will be called for HTTPS domains. All creative code will be scanned to ensure SSL compliance, as well as passbacks. Additionally, SSL ad delivery does not negatively impact page latency or ad delivery speed.

Have an SSL site? Here’s how to start using SSL-compliant ad tags

Publishers can immediately opt in to implementing the new SSL-compliant tags inside of the Meridian® platform interface. However, Sovrn publishers using existing Sovrn HTTP ad tags will not be impacted by the update and will not need to change any of their existing tags.


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