- The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) has released OpenRTB 3.0 for a two-phase public comment period, according to a company press release. The new version of the real-time programmatic bidding framework should heighten trust in the security of the programmatic advertising supply chain by providing buyers more transparency during the bid process, and it integrates IAB's ads.txt to improve programmatic buying and selling.
- The press release highlighted three key updates for OpenRTB 3.0: a new cryptographically signed bid request process where buyers can view the path of inventory and get verification of an untampered supply chain; a new "Advertising Common Object Model" (AdCOM) specification that highlights updates to ad and creative objects and gives publishers more control of creative elements on their websites; and an Ad Management API Standard companion specification, which standardizes the creative approval process for buyers and sellers and streamlines development efforts across programmatic platforms.
- The update is the most comprehensive revision to OpenRTB since it was first released in 2010, according to Dennis Buchheim, SVP and GM, IAB Tech Lab. "It is a direct response to the stronger technology requirements that are demanded by brand marketers and media buyers in today's complex advertising ecosystem," he said.
While marketers value programmatic advertising for its ability to automate large-scale digital campaigns, and publishers see the technology as a means to easily sell inventory, the space this year has been beset with problems pertaining to ad fraud and a lack of transparency. Back in March, JPMorgan Chase also cut back the number of websites serving its ads programmatically from 400,000 to 5,000 and saw little impact on campaign performance.
Instances like these have led some marketers to pause and reconsider their strategies. Programmatic buys in Q1 of this year were down 12% compared to the same period in 2016, according to data from MediaRadar. The IAB, for its part, has been actively taking steps to rectify the issues around transparency and security with the programmatic supply chain.
One of those steps was releasing ads.txt in May, a solution that provides a pre-formatted index of authorized sellers that publishers can post to their domains to allow programmatic buyers to screen for fake or misrepresented inventory. Although the tool was designed to prevent counterfeit and unauthorized programmatic impressions, last month Getintent released a study that found, of the 1,000 top-ranked websites in its inventory, just 13 — or, 1.3% — had adopted the technology.