In our ongoing effort to protect our partners, and as a natural continuation of our successful ads.txt campaign, Brightcom announces that it will adopt and maintain the latest industry mechanisms in Q4 2019. As such, we are happy to support our partners with the implementation of Sellers.json and OpenRTB SupplyChain object.
“It is our mission to be in on top of industry efforts where it comes to safety and transparency. This way, our publishers can rest assured they are in the best monetization environment in which to focus on creating content and optimize monetization” says Yael Arama, VP of Display Advertising.
So, what are the Sellers.json and SupplyChain initiatives, and how can they help clean up the programmatic ecosystem?
Much like fashion brands, who are trying to combat the $450 billion global market of counterfeit goods, the advertising industry is similarly fighting to safeguard its own version of “luxury goods,” i.e., online ads, from fraud. The latest in these proactive efforts is the introduction of the Sellers.json and SupplyChain initiatives, which are aimed to better “protect the buyer” from fraud and the ongoing damages it causes.
Their predecessor, Ads.txt or App-ads.txt, was introduced to assist sellers/publishers in preventing their goods (i.e., ad impressions) from being counterfeited. It is the publishers’ “display window” of those vendors who are authorized to sell their inventory. Ads.txt also indicates if it’s a Direct or a Reseller and their specific account with the vendor.
The recently introduced Sellers.json and SupplyChain, or Schain, (which key industry players have already begun to gradually adopt) aim to “close the circle” along with the already widely adopted ads.txt and make the supply chain more transparent for advertisers and their partners. With these two mechanisms, advertisers and their partners can now make sure that no vicious players are getting a piece of their budget. Here’s how they work:
Sellers.json, much like ads.txt, is a file that is hosted at the root of a corporate domain. Assuming that it is ads.txt-approved by the end publisher, sellers.json indicates the authorized sellers’ name/ID, seller domain and seller type: “Publisher”/“Intermediary”/“Both.” It also allows the buyer to identify the intermediaries that participated in the selling of a bid request and can whitelist or blacklist some of them.
SupplyChain (Schain) enables buyers to see all parties who are selling or reselling a given bid request. It enables buyers to see all the intermediary entities by displaying their identities to the buyer in real-time (making sure that the traffic purchased is as direct as possible). It will identify the seller who was the final reseller in the chain. Buyers can match them to seller IDs given by the supplier in their ads.txt files and decide if they are trustworthy.
Combining the Sellers.json and Schain will become a prerequisite for all players in the programmatic landscape. As for publishers, this new standard will allow them to understand who’s claiming to have a relationship with them.
From a DSP standpoint, Schain will enable various use cases:
-Add sellers to blacklists across all chain
-DSP users can target chains with up to max x sellers
-Decide on traffic “Directness” (blockchains that contain longer than X resellers)
-Block incomplete chains
Going back to the fashion industry metaphor, consumers want to know that their newly purchased Nike shoe or Louis Vuitton bag was actually made by the brand’s factory and that it isn’t a fake. Also important is being able to verify that the point of purchase is an “authorized seller” or “reseller.” The same goes for the Ad Tech industry: by implementing Schain and Sellers.json what we will get is a cleaner, more transparent programmatic ecosystem where the buyer knows that the ad impression bought was actually provided by the publisher. Also, the buyer/DSP will have more control over buying only from sellers that he preapproved or at least didn’t blacklist (according to the predetermined conditions he set).
Written by Erez Ies, Brightcom’s SVP Growth