1.0 Release: June 2021. buyers.json and DemandChain Object are two new buy-side transparency standards being introduced by the IAB Tech Lab (the 3rd being the Ad Product Taxonomy)
buyers.json is a file made publicly available by DSPs that identifies the names and IDs of the buyers they represent, facilitating quick identification of threat actors when attacks occur. Buyers.json would bring transparency to the buy side in the same way that prior initiatives such as Sellers.json and Ads.txt brought transparency to the sell side.
Advertisers are attracted to digital advertising for the enormous reach it offers, its advanced targeting capabilities, and the ability to measure results quickly and adapt. These same factors make digital advertising a powerful attack vector for malvertisers.
The door to the ad tech ecosystem is largely open: with a creative asset and a credit card, anyone can buy an ad and go live, often with minimal vetting and oversight.
One of the chief challenges with eradicating malvertising is buyer identification. Malvertisers take advantage of the highly fragmented nature of the ecosystem by exploiting the weakest links and jumping frequently from DSP to DSP. As soon as they are found out on one DSP, they seamlessly shift their campaigns to a new one. Publishers and SSPs seldom have insight into the identities of buyers and therefore cannot relay the information to the DSP that would allow them to block a known bad entity across all the access points at once. The end effect is whack-a-mole, with the same entity appearing again and again across different DSPs.
buyers.json helps solve the problem of buyer identification and is a necessary step to protect users from malvertising, reduce the use of ad blockers by restoring user trust, and protect the overall publishing ecosystem.
"A huge number of publishers are struggling to survive. Any cost increase or revenue loss is a problem, especially for the long-tail."
"buyers.json is a no-brainer. If we had been better stewards of our space we might not be where we are today."
"There is no silver bullet for this problem. There’s a lot of incentive for bad actors. We have to work together to find solutions."
Sign this pledge to support a unified declaration from top SSPs & Publishers that buyers.json is critical to the fight against malvertising.
Communicate your ongoing commitment discourage or disallow demand sources that choose not to adopt buyers.json.
Voice your support with IAB Tech Lab, the non-profit consortium drafting the specifications for buyers.json.
Let's all work together to make the advertising ecosystem function at its best.
Add your name to the list of publishers, DSPs, and SSPs pledging to support buyers.json and eliminate malvertising from the digital advertising ecosystem.