An industry-wide initiative aimed at ridding the web of a certain type of ad fraud got more support on Thursday, as the Trustworthy Accountability Group said publishers are now required to implement the initiative, ads.txt, in order to receive a "certified against fraud" seal.
Ads.txt was created to stamp out domain spoofing, a serious threat to anyone who buys, sells digital video or ads. The move by the Trustworthy Accountability Group, which was expected, comes on the heels of Google's September announcement that it won't do business with any publishers who don't adopt the initiative.
Domain spoofing occurs when someone thinks they're buying a pre-roll video on the Financial Times when in reality, they're buying phony inventory that's literally watched by no one. Business Insider, for example, said in one instance an advertiser thought it had purchased $40,000 worth of Insider ad inventory through open exchanges when in reality, the publication only saw $97. The rest, Insider said, went to fraud.