In April 2012, we will be making two changes to the allowed_vendor_type field of the Ad Exchange real-time bidding protocol. Before describing the upcoming changes, let’s review how to use technology vendors on the exchange.

Ad Exchange vendor policies

One of the benefits of buying on the DoubleClick Ad Exchange is the ability to use technology vendors for ad serving, research, remarketing and more. To protect Ad Exchange publishers, we certify vendors before they’re allowed to run on the exchange. And once they’re certified, we divide them into two categories, outlined in our Help Center:
  1. No Declaration Required: Vendors that are whitelisted to run across the exchange, and therefore do not need to be declared in a bid response.

  2. Declaration Required: Vendors that publishers are permitted to block, and therefore must be declared in a bid response.

  3. Because Ad Exchange buyers have access to sites in the Google Display Network (GDN), the GDN runs an additional certification process to determine which vendors may run on their network. Therefore, there is a third label applied to vendors:

  4. GDN Allowed: Vendors that are permitted to run on the Google Display Network. Note that categories 1 and 2 still apply to this subset; that is, some GDN Allowed vendors require declaration, and others don’t.
GDN Allowed vendors are listed in the GDN Requirements for 3rd Party Ad Serving. On this page, navigate to Vendors list (global) under the Requirements on the Google Display Network through the DoubleClick Ad Exchange section. Vendors marked with a + sign are bucket 2, Declaration Required.

An overview of the changes

In April 2012, we will make two simplifications to the allowed_vendor_type field of the Ad Exchange real-time bidding protocol.
  1. Removal of No Declaration Required vendors: In the bid request, the allowed_vendor_type field will only contain vendors from category 2, Declaration Required; you will no longer see any bid requests with vendors from category 1. Accordingly, your bid responses should only contain vendors from category 2 (though your response will not be rejected if it contains a category 1 vendor). We have updated our vendors.txt file to include only the vendors that need to be declared.

  2. Removal of allowed_vendor_type for GDN requests: Because every GDN site has the same set of allowed vendors, we will no longer include allowed vendors in bid requests for GDN sites (denoted by seller_network: “GCN”, soon to be updated to “GDN”). However, if the vendor you’re using falls into the Declaration Required bucket, you must still include it in your bid response. We have listed these vendors - those that are allowed on the GDN, and won’t appear in bid requests, but still require declaration - in gdn-vendors.txt.
As always, please reach out to your Google account team with any questions about this change.