Thought Leadership

New Community Standards to Foster Greater Collaboration & Trust

October 2, 2019
By John Clyman

A New Era of Collaboration and Transparency

In an industry full of hype, I’m always delighted when companies come together to do the right thing. The rapid adoption of ads.txt provided vivid proof that collaboration and transparency could help drive away bad actors and bolster trust. 

So today, I’m happy to share more about Rubicon Project’s ongoing efforts to adopt community standards that let buyers and sellers transact with confidence, including our enforcement of app-ads.txt for mobile-app inventory, certification under IAB Gold Standard version 1.1, and signing of the BVDW Code of Conduct.

Enhancing Trust in Ad Requests and Inventory

As of October 1, 2019, Rubicon Project’s exchange automatically enforces published app-ads.txt declarations on mobile apps, discarding ad requests from unauthorized resellers. 

This is good news for both buyers and app developers. Buyers can rest assured that they won’t be purchasing unauthorized in-app inventory through the Rubicon Project exchange regardless of which DSP they use. (While many DSPs have begun enforcing app-ads.txt, it’s not universal.) 

App developers can be confident that their inventory isn’t being resold without their permission, so that they’re rewarded for the investments they make in generating content and engagement.

App-Ads.txt Adoption is Growing

Today more than 75 percent of the app inventory in our exchange is covered by app-ads.txt. 

Adoption continues to surge, and I encourage other app developers to get on board now. Q4 is a busy time for everyone, but once the industry as a whole reaches critical mass — perhaps 90 percent or so — I expect many buyers will opt to spend only on apps with published app-ads.txt files.

Looking back at the original ads.txt for web inventory, one of the requirements to achieve the IAB UK’s Gold Standard 1.1 certification was to demonstrate ads.txt adoption in excess of 90 percent. 

In fact, we passed that benchmark long ago, and today more than 97 percent of web inventory in our exchange globally is covered by ads.txt thanks to the efforts of the many publishers supplying that inventory.

An Expanding Commitment to a Well-Lit Marketplace

Turning attention to continental Europe, specifically the “DACH” — German, Austrian, and Swiss — markets, we’re now signatories to the Programmatic Advertising Code of Conduct for the Bundesverband Digitale Wirtschaft, or BVDW, the industry body establishing the code of conduct for that region.

Rubicon Project has always emphasized the importance of providing a safe marketplace, illustrated by our acquisition of anti-malvertising firm SiteScout in 2010 and anti-fraud specialists Audience Forensics in 2016 — both of them now key parts of our dedicated Brand Protection & Security team. 

These latest milestones are just a few of the things we’ve been working on to continue growing a safe, efficient, and transparent marketplace for programmatic advertising transactions.

John Clyman
VP Engineering, Marketplace Quality & Security
Rubicon Project

For more info about IAB UK Gold Standard 1.1 Certification or our commitment to a well-lit marketplace, reach out to us at

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