Ads.txt is supposed to help clean up the industry’s ad fraud problem, but publishers are dragging their feet in adopting the initiative.
Few publishers have adopted ads.txt because their tech teams are overcommitted to other projects, and they don’t understand how ads.txt will benefit them.
Plus, some publishers want to avoid notifying ad buyers that they rely on unauthorized resellers to drive demand for their inventory.
The way it works is that publishers drop a text file on their web servers that lists all the companies authorized to sell their inventory, which allows buyers to check the validity of the inventory they purchase.
Other publishers that use ads.txt include ESPN, Forbes, the USA Today Network, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Vox Media and the New York Post.
Publishers not using the feature yet include Bloomberg, The Wall Street Journal, HuffPost, The Atlantic, BuzzFeed, Slate and CNN.