MediaMath Bolsters Antifraud Suite with Addition of Ads.Txt

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MediaMath, an independent programmatic company for marketers, reiterated its support for, and announced an aggressive rollout of, the IAB’s “ads.txt” initiative across its entire supply footprint.

The rollout is immediate throughout MediaMath’s Curated Market—the company’s guaranteed brand-safe, fraud-free premium media offering—within which the company will only buy over authorized paths from publishers who have an ads.txt file in place.

The Curated Market has already demonstrated significant lift across a broad range of marketer business outcomes when compared to the open auction environment since its launch in April 2017. The ads.txt rollout will be phased in over the coming months to ultimately encompass all of MediaMath’s supply products, providing publishers sufficient time to create and implement the ads.txt files on their web sites.

“We strongly support the ads.txt initiative, and universal adoption across premium publishers will be required for it to fully reach its potential, “ said Jeremy Hlavacek, Head of Global Automated Monetization at IBM Watson Advertising. “We applaud MediaMath for taking this strong stance in ensuring that everyone on the supply side contributes to this important initiative.”

MediaMath has been monitoring supply-side uptake of ads.txt, an open standard sponsored by the IAB, since it was announced in May of this year. While the pace of publisher adoption of the initiative has been relatively slow, the company expects that with a buy-side impetus, those rates will begin to rise.

“Bringing ads.txt into our arsenal of fraud prevention resources strengthens our ability to protect our clients,” said Lewis Rothkopf, General Manager of Supply at MediaMath (pictured top left). “Working in consultation with outside experts, we’ve found that no single tool or third-party vendor alone is likely to be able to prevent all instances of fraud, particularly as the tactics and techniques used by ‘bad actors’ evolve. Instead of taking a one-size-fits-all approach, we leverage a variety of technological and human methods, taking into account first and third-party inputs, to ensure that our ecosystem is brand-safe and fraud-free.”

Rather than engaging in a never-ending cat-and-mouse technical escalation with fraudsters— the definition of classic, and classically hopeless, asymmetric warfare—MediaMath is focusing its efforts on stopping fraudulent activity at its source by eliminating the economic incentives for ‘bad actors.’ By ensuring that customers are dealing with legitimate publishers—something which ads.txt will help tremendously—and by taking a hard line on traffic that is acquired via illegitimate means, the company believes it will deny perpetrators of these frauds the pecuniary benefit they seek. This approach has already produced dramatically effective results, furthering the company’s mission to access only legitimate human traffic on verified, trusted properties.

“Google is a strong supporter of ads.txt, and it’s great to see a major buy-side platform like MediaMath take steps to implement this standard,” said Sam Cox, Google AdX Group Product Manager for Buyside and Policy. “Having buyers commit to a clean ecosystem helps drive adoption by advertisers and publishers, increasing the transparency and trust for the whole ecosystem.”
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