FT warns advertisers of fake ad sales for its site
The Financial Times has found that ad exchanges are offering to sell ads that are purported to appear on its website but don’t, reports Jessica Davies of Digiday.
Davies writes, “Jon Slade, Financial Times chief commercial officer, on Sept. 27 planned to notify the exchanges in question by mail to remove the fraudulent inventory, with the promise that the FT will check back in a month to ensure action has been taken. Hitchings wouldn’t say which exchanges were at fault but added that they are ‘known’ names. A second letter is on its way to 11,000 of the FT’s client and agency contacts, explaining the problem and asking them to watch out for inventory that isn’t sourced from the two exchanges the FT sells its display inventory through, Google AdX and TrustX.
“The fraud investigation coincided with the FT’s adoption of ads.txt, the Interactive Advertising Bureau Tech Lab’s tool created to help publishers combat ad fraud — specifically domain spoofing, but also arbitrage via unauthorized reselling. Other publishers including the Guardian and News UK have also adopted ads.txt, though uptake has been slow in the U.K. In his letter, Slade urged the buy side to push for publisher adoption of ads.txt.
“‘We are working with partners to support the adoption of ads.txt by all publishers, as part of our ongoing efforts to help clean up digital advertising. By eliminating this extremely widespread form of fraud, budgets will work that much harder for advertisers and the revenue will reach working media to fund the independent, high-quality journalism which society, especially today, depends upon,’ Slade wrote in the letter to client and agency contacts.”
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