In today’s brand-centric economy, a company's reputation can rise or plunge in an instant with dramatic and lasting business impact. 

Thanks to real-time social media and instant information, a brand disaster - ranging from ad placement near illegal or offensive content to association with digital criminals - can translate into an immediate loss of sales and long-term damage to customer relationships. 

Despite the importance of brand protection, however, too few professionals have been given the training, expertise, relationships, and resources necessary to evaluate and defend against wide-ranging and fast-changing threats. 

The Brand Safety Institute was founded to professionalize and advance the executive capacity needed at every company to protect their brands through research, accreditation, networking, and education. 

By accrediting Brand Safety Officers and providing them with relevant information, expertise, and connections, the Brand Safety Institute will help a community of brand leaders safeguard both their own brands and the broader digital advertising supply chain.




Mike Zaneis


Visionary, progress-oriented leader in the technology and media industries with 15+ years of hands on experience in building and managing government affairs functions. Unique ability to develop strong advocacy positions in a complex political environment by fostering deep relationships and bringing together diverse interests. Sophisticated understanding of underlying business interests and how policy and public relations can advance those priorities


Neal Thurman


Neal Thurman brings many threads of his career together for the founding of the Brand Safety Institute.  His career started in Industrial Psychology managing major standardized tests and certification programs for higher education and professional organizations.  After receiving his MBA from the Goizueta Business School at Emory University, he worked for digital agency Think New Ideas consulting to start-ups and Fortune 500 clients including Sony Electronics, UPS, Coca-Cola, Axciom, Hard Rock Café, and Fannie Mae on how to harness new digital technologies to enhance existing business models and create new ones.  The entrepreneurial bug led to being on the founding team of two successful bootstrapped professional services start-ups – Customer Value Partners and Black Turtle Services – where he served in a variety of executive management roles including oversight of Product Development, Profitability, Accounting and Finance, Human Resources, Contracts, Facilities, and IT while continuing to work with clients like AOL, Cricket Wireless, the McGraw-Hill Companies, and the US Federal Government on solving critical business problems.  While helping build Customer Value Partners into an Inc 500-winning firm, he also co-founded a blog about English Premier League soccer that has moved from the Blogger platform to YahooUK to SBNation to the Rotoworld.com division of NBC Sports Digital.  In addition to his duties as Co-founder of the Brand Safety Institute and for Rotoworld, Neal serves as the Director of the Coalition for Better Ads championing customer experience in the digital advertising.