Summits Yellow

Leading ad exchanges make programmatic transparency pledge

Tyrone Stewart

Data coding transparencySix of the top advertising exchanges have come to a mutual agreement, promising to clean up the programmatic buying experience by being more efficient, transparent, and fair.

An open letter signed by Rubicon Project, OpenX, Pubmatic, Sovrn, SpotX, and Telaria speaks of a commitment “to unleashing the full potential of programmatic advertising” by providing transparent marketplace principles for advertisers and publishers.

For more efficient buying, the six companies are promising total quality assurance, standardised formats, and the elimination of infrastructure waste. Meanwhile, the exchanges are committed to fee transparency, a fully auditable supply chain, and transparent change notification. And then there’s the clear auction rules, no undisclosed business arrangements, and no biased auction mechanics.

Based on these principles, the firms will work closely with the Trustworthy Accountability Group (TAG) to create a new compliance and accountability certification.

Though the pact seems like step in the right direction, there are concerns in the industry that a ‘fully auditable supply chain’ may be taken advantage of by bad actors – with “supply source, requests, winning bids, impressions, and clicks through every step in the supply chain” all auditable.

“How is that different than what they do today,” Mike Zanies, president and CEO of TAG, told Ad Age. “This is what criminals do. They seek vulnerabilities and they scale when they find out.”

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