A transparent relationship with advertising clients is one of the primary objectives for publishers and helps to establish a strong relationship with both potential and current advertisers. To achieve even greater results, however, publishers should look to educate their partners with information they would not otherwise have access to.

With these factors in mind, IAB Tech Lab released an innovative new tool in April 2019, made up of two parts – Sellers.json and OpenRTB SupplyChain Object. This is a tool that can maximise transparency in the buying stages between publishers and advertisers.

How does it work?

The tool enables buyers to have a deeper understanding of the inventory they are bidding on. Sellers.json allows buyers to see a list of the authorized sellers and resellers an exchange or SSP works with. Similarly, SupplyChain Object provides a record of what has happened to an impression, so buyers can see which sellers and resellers are involved in the bid request, giving more clarity and greater end-to-end visibility in the supply chain. Simply put, Sellers.json is a tool for ad buyers whereby SSPs and exchanges have to list all their authorized reseller partners (in the process acting as a complement to ads.txt in the fight against fraud).

Both Sellers.json and OpenRTB SupplyChain come as a pair and have been crafted to provide ad buyers with the confidence they require when buying an ad to ensure they are not subject to fraudulent acts by unauthorised sellers.

“These two specifications are critical to increasing trust and transparency in programmatic advertising, and will be key in helping fight fraud,” said Dennis Buchheim, Executive Vice President and General Manager, IAB Tech Lab. “Together, Sellers.json and the SupplyChain Object will provide better supply path visibility for buyers and sellers, giving them greater confidence during transactions. We look forward to seeing widespread adoption once the final versions are released.”

The next step for publishers

While ads.txt started the process of building more trust in the ecosystem, Sellers.json and SupplyChain Object is the next evolutionary step to providing clarity for the entire supply chain. This initiative will help bridge the gap between advertisers and publishers by bringing much-needed transparency to a complex adtech landscape. This move will benefit everyone involved, and will help identify nefarious players who should not be in the adtech space to start with.

At MGID, we have become one of the first adtech companies to start posting the Sellers.json file on supply platform domains, and to support the OpenRTB SupplyChain Object to make sure buyers have a better understanding of what they are bidding on. It’s important to encourage a transparent ecosystem, and publishers wishing to improve their relationship with their advertising clients should seriously consider using this tech to uphold a safe and clean ad environment.