Brand Safety Institute Launches New Certification Program

The year-old industry organization Brand Safety Institute has rolled out a certification program aimed at educating marketing and advertising executives about the best ways to ensure ads are placed on appropriate sites.

The Brand Safety Institute was founded last year by two leaders of other industry programs -- Mike Zaneis, CEO of the Trustworthy Accountability Group, and Neal Thurman, director of the Coalition for Better Ads.

As of Tuesday, the Brand Safety Institute program offers instruction in five subjects, including how to combat ad fraud and malware, and how to make sure ads appear adjacent to appropriate content.

Eventually, the certification program will include 10 different subjects. The program costs around $1,000.

Zaneis said that the curriculum examines questions such as the definition of “brand safety” as well as operational matters such as how marketers or ad agencies should vet their partners.



“We wanted to help them be smarter,” he says, referring to marketers. “And also to bring together a community where they can talk about their issues and help solve problems.”

Founding sponsors of the Brand Safety Institute include Adobe, Facebook, OpenX, and Oracle Data Cloud. The group's board of advisers includes more than 30 ad industry veterans, including Joe Barone, managing partner for digital ad operations at GroupM North America, Dennis Buchheim, senior vice president of IAB Tech Lab, Rachel Glasser, chief privacy officer at Wunderman, David Green, vice president for public policy at NBC Universal, and Louis Jones, executive vice president for media & data at the 4A's.

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