IAB's ads.txt initiative is designed to thwart the unauthorized selling of ad inventory and full-on domain spoofing within the RTB programmatic markets. Adoption by publishers and ad tech has rapidly grown recently and the subject has received plenty of industry attention. Major DSPs, including Google’s Double Click Bid Manager, AppNexus, The Trade Desk, MediaMath, Adobe Advertising Cloud, and DataXu are reportedly already filtering for ads.txt or will in the near future.
Domain ( or URL) spoofing has been a thorn in the side of the programmatic advertising industry for years now and the common narrative usually describes it as fraudsters trying to capitalize on the domains of big-name premium publishers. However, it should be noted that domain masking reaches beyond the top echelon of high-traffic sites and the damage it causes doesn’t stop at a few lost impressions.