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.   

Brand Safety Institute Editorial Board

The Brand Safety Institute has named two dozen industry leaders as founding members of the BSI Editorial Board, which will help design the brand safety curriculum for BSI's accreditation program for corporate executives. The new editorial board includes senior executives focusing on brand safety and related issues from top trade associations – including the 4A's, IAB UK, IAB Tech Lab, ISBA, JICWEBS, and TAG – and companies – including Bank of America, Facebook, IPG Mediabrands, GroupM, and Pandora.

"If you want to establish a rigorous standard for brand safety knowledge and expertise, you need to consult with the industry leaders who have set the bar on those issues," said Neal Thurman, Co-Founder of BSI. "We are delighted to welcome a powerhouse panel of brand safety experts from across the digital advertising space to help us design a robust, impactful, and forward-thinking brand safety curriculum. Working together, we can give brand safety executives the information and tools they need to protect their brands – and our ecosystem – from the growing range of brand safety threats."

Founding members of the BSI Editorial Board include:

  • Joe Barone, Managing Partner, Digital Ad Operations, GroupM North America
  • Rob Beeler, Chairman, AdMonsters
  • Alisa Bergman, VP & Chief Privacy Officer, Adobe
  • Jason Bier, EVP, Chief Data & Privacy Officer, Engine Group
  • Dennis Buchheim, SVP & GM, IAB Tech Lab
  • Steve Chester, Director of Media, ISBA
  • Scott Cunningham, Founder, Cunningham.Tech
  • Christine Desrosiers, Director, Revenue Systems & Programmatic, BabyCenter
  • John Devine, Head of Global Operations, Facebook
  • Richard Foan, Executive Chairman, JICWEBS
  • Rachel Glasser, Chief Privacy Officer, Wunderman
  • Stacey Hultgren, Senior Manager, Ad Quality Measurement, Pandora
  • Louis Jones, EVP, Media & Data, 4A's
  • Jessica King, Senior Product Manager, Unruly
  • Joshua Lowcock, EVP, Chief Digital & Innovation Officer, UM (part of IPG Mediabrands)
  • Jon Mew, CEO, IAB UK
  • Jessica Morel, VP, Global Marketing, Oracle Data Cloud
  • John Murphy, VP, Marketplace Quality, OpenX
  • Richard Murphy, EVP, BPA Worldwide
  • Terri Schriver, SVP, Enterprise Media, Bank of America
  • Rachel Nyswander Thomas - Chair of BSI Editorial Board - SVP, Operations & Policy, Trustworthy Accountability Group
  • Sal Tripi, AVP, Digital Operations & Compliance, Publishers Clearing House
  • Kyle Turner, Senior Manager, Inventory Quality, MediaMath
  • Eric Warburton, VP, Ad Operations, Horizon Media
  • Oliver von Wersch, Founder & CEO, vonwerschpartner Digital Strategies