Get better return from your advertising spend


Programmatic advertising is a hot topic amongst South African media buyers and agencies. The automated process of buying and selling online media space, ad inventory or website properties, comes with a number of concerns, notably brand authenticity and protection.

As a publisher, it is important to minimise intrusive forms of advertising that negatively impact reader experience. It is necessary to display brands in appropriate locations and in ways that resonate with audiences. 

As a buyer, it can be hard to keep track of where your ads are being displayed. Be wary of illegitimate sellers or website owners who spoof domains and arbitrage ad inventory. Don’t waste money on garbage ad inventory with low viewability, as this can limit the return on your marketing investment. 

On the bright side, the audit process is an automated one and appropriate governance has been put in place, making sure you aren’t wasting ad spend. Independent Online, popularly known as IOL, has leaped at the opportunity in November 2017 to become a part of the IAB’s Ads.txt global project, becoming one of the first in Africa to take steps to mitigate risks in Programmatic. According to the IAB, the mission of this project is simple, to increase transparency in the Programmatic advertising ecosystem. 

Authorised Digital Sellers, abbreviated to Ads, is a secure method to publicly declare the companies that are approved to sell a publisher’s ad real estate. “Think of it as a VIP list of companies allowed to sell ad inventory on behalf of the publisher” – says Riaan Sunny, Ad Operations Manager at IOL. We have put together a short list of accredited digital sellers, including IOL’s own digital selling platform (DoubleClick for Publishers) to ensure peace of mind for both buyers and brands. You’re assured authentic publisher inventory and that your ROI originates from reputable web environments. 

It’s easy to check if a website is accredited by typing the following after any website URL: “/ads.txt”. Try it on IOL,

It’s easy to check if a website is accredited by typing the following after any website URL: “/ads.txt”. Try it on IOL,

IOL’s involvement with the IAB’s Ads.txt initiative has allowed us to create a safe brand environment for advertisers to showcase their brands.

IOL is Independent Media’s digital offering bringing millions of readers quality news across South Africa. With a growing daily unique online audience, is one of the largest NEWS websites in the country. Independent Media’s established loyal base is due to its approach to delivering fresh, quality content across its brands. Striving for true diversity, IOL offers news for the people of South Africa.

At the heart of Independent’s digital capability is the Ad Operations team who ensure that site visitors have a non-intrusive ad experience as they browse the latest news. The team is responsible for refining new technology and offers innovative advertising opportunities to digital buyers and agencies.

Riaan Sunny graduated from UCT with a Bachelor of Commerce, specializing in Statistics and Economics.