Principles for a Better Programmatic Market

Rubicon Project, whose technology platform powers Netric, has joined five other ad exchanges in signing a commitment to efficient, transparent, and fair business practices called “Principles for a Better Programmatic Marketplace.”

The letter, which was created in consultation with US trade body the Trustworthy Accountability Group (TAG), is the first of its type to be signed by several exchanges collectively. It covers the guiding principles that all platforms should maintain, and sets out the steps for their future enforcement.

The principles set out in this statement are listed below:

1. Efficiency: Efficiency reduces transaction costs by eliminating waste and fraud.

Total Quality Assurance

  • 100% of ad creatives scanned for malware and other quality issues

  • 100% of all domains and apps reviewed for brand safety, ad count, refresh rates, and audience quality

  • 100% of ad requests scanned and filtered in real time for invalid traffic

  • Fully certified by TAG (Trustworthy Accountability Group), including validation by an independent 3rd party

Standardized Formats

  • All advertisements compliant with the Better Ads Standards developed by the Coalition for Better Ads. For more information, see

Elimination of Infrastructure Waste

  • For each unique ad request from a publisher for a specific ad format, auction type, or Deal ID, an exchange will send a maximum of one unique bid request to the DSP

2. Transparency: Transparency establishes clear business practices necessary to maintain trust among participants in the supply chain.

  • Fee Transparency No hidden fees of any kind. One clear fee assessed per auction, with fee arrangements made explicit to the party being charged

  • Fully Auditable Supply Chain Auditability of supply source, requests, winning bids, impressions, and clicks through every step in the supply chain

  • Transparent Change Notification Any changes or modifications to marketplace design that may alter performance for buyers are clearly communicated in advance of going live within a reasonable and agreed upon time frame

3. Fair-Market: Fair-market principles establish clear and unambiguous ground rules that balance the objectives of all marketplace participants.

  • Clear Auction Rules: All bid requests will specify the auction type (e.g., whether the auction is 1st or 2nd price)

  • No Undisclosed Business Arrangements: No undisclosed business arrangements (such as kickbacks or rebates) that could unnaturally influence spend away from fair market values and principles

  • No Biased Auction Mechanics: Actions such as non-transparent bid-caching or proprietary container preferencing that could undermine the integrity of the fair auction are forbidden

As programmatic evolves into a more mature market, this is an important statement: a recognition of shared values, interdependence, and accountability. We hope you will request all of the exchange partners you work with to join us in this commitment.

Thank you for your business and your trust.

Daniel Ahlbert, CEO, Netric

Daniel Ahlbert