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ads.txt (Authorized Digital Sellers) is an Interactive Advertising Bureau initiative. It specifies a text file that companies can host on their web servers, listing the other companies authorized to sell their products or services. This is designed to allow online buyers to check the validity of the sellers from whom they buy, for the purposes of internet fraud prevention.

State of adoption[edit]

By November 2017, more than 44% of publishers had ads.txt files.[1] More than 90,000 sites were using ads.txt, up from 3,500 in September 2017, according to Pixalate. Among the top 1,000 sites that sold programmatic ads, 57 percent had ads.txt files, compared to 16 percent in September, per Pixalate.[2]

Google has been an active proponent of ads.txt and pushing for faster, widespread adoption by publishers.[3] From the end of October 2017 DoubleClick Bid Manager (DBM) only buys inventory from sources identified as authorized sellers in a publisher’s ads.txt file, when a file is available. ads.txt may become a requirement for DBM.[4]

File Format[edit]

The IAB's ads.txt specification[5] dictates the formatting of ads.txt files which can contain three types of record; data records, variables and comments. An ads.txt file can include any number of records, each placed on their own line.

Since the ads.txt file format must be adhered to, a range of validation[6], management and collaboration tools have become available to help ensure ads.txt files are created correctly.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "State of ads.txt adoption". Ad Ops Insider. Archived from the original on 2018-03-21. Retrieved 2018-03-22.
  2. ^ "The state of ads.txt". Digiday. Archived from the original on 2018-03-23. Retrieved 2018-03-22.
  3. ^
  4. ^ "Google announces new anti-fraud initiatives for DoubleClick Bid Manager". MarTechToday. Archived from the original on 2018-03-22. Retrieved 2018-03-22.
  5. ^ "IABTechLab ads.txt Specification v1.0.1" (PDF). IABTechLab. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2018-03-06. Retrieved 2018-07-11.
  6. ^ "IABTechLab ads.txt Resources". IABTechLab Resources. Archived from the original on 2018-07-11. Retrieved 2018-07-11.