Brand Safety Institute Opens Training & Certification Program For Brand Safety Officers

Brand Safety Institute Opens Training & Certification Program For Brand Safety Officers
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This article originally appeared in Yahoo Finance on June 18, 2019.

Sign-Ups and Training for First BSO Accreditation Program Now Underway; Adobe, Facebook, OpenX, Oracle Data Cloud Join as Founding Sponsors

WASHINGTON, June 18, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Launched last summer to professionalize the field of brand protection, the Brand Safety Institute (BSI) today opened its doors to the ad industry’s first accreditation process for the executives who manage brand safety and related issues within their companies. Sign-ups and initial training modules for the Brand Safety Officer (BSO) accreditation process are now available through the BSI website.

The Brand Safety Institute also rolled out its initial program sponsors and board of advisors, comprising a Who’s Who of industry leaders. Founding sponsors include Adobe, Facebook, OpenX, and Oracle Data Cloud, while the BSI Board of Advisors includes:

  • 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
  • Harold Geller, Executive Director, Ad-ID
  • Rachel Glasser, Chief Privacy Officer, Wunderman
  • Mark Goldberg, CEO, TrustMetrics
  • David Green, Vice President, Public Policy, NBCUniversal
  • Stacey Hultgren, Senior Manager, Ad Quality Measurement, Pandora
  • Louis Jones, EVP, Media & Data, 4A’s
  • Jessica King, Senior Product Manager, Unruly
  • Dallas Lawrence, Chief Communications & Brand Officer, OpenX
  • Stephanie Layser, Vice President, Advertising Technology & Operations, News Corp
  • 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
  • David Murnick, EVP, Digital Operations and Technology Partnerships, Dentsu Aegis Group
  • John Murphy, Chief Quality Officer, Confiant
  • Richard Murphy, EVP, BPA Worldwide
  • Chris Olson, Co-Founder and CEO, The Media Trust
  • Terri Schriver, SVP, Enterprise Media, Bank of America
  • Rachel Nyswander Thomas – Chair of BSI Board of Advisors – Chief Operating Officer, 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

The BSI Board of Advisors will help the organization create and update the brand safety curriculum for its accreditation program to ensure it meets the needs of today’s marketers, as well as working with the organization to improve industry research and education around related topics.

“When a professional field reaches a certain level of maturity, the leaders in that field often implement a formal accreditation process, so they can validate their expertise, improve their knowledge, and connect with their peers,” said Mike Zaneis, Co-Founder of BSI and CEO of the Trustworthy Accountability Group. “Brand safety involves some of the most complicated and interwoven challenges in advertising, and the executives tackling those issues are ready to raise the bar by professionalizing their field and giving their peers the skills and recognition they deserve.”

Zaneis will discuss the announcement and next steps for BSI during a panel discussion at Cannes on Tuesday, June 18th from 9:30-11:30 am. (Event registration is available here.)

“As we launch the first phase of our brand safety officer curriculum, we have been gratified at the reaction we’ve gotten from across the industry,” said Neal Thurman, Co-Founder of BSI. “From the companies and trade bodies supporting our efforts to the individuals who have given of their time and expertise to help us craft educational experiences rooted not just in academic rigor but in the day-to-day realities that will help companies thrive in a complex and quickly evolving marketplace.  We are proud of what we have created for launch and excited at the community that we are building that will help us continue to strengthen and deepen what we can offer in the weeks and months to come.”

Starting today, industry executives can register for the program and complete the first four modules of the curriculum, including an introduction to brand safety, fraud, ad adjacency, and knowing your partners. Additional modules will be released over coming months, and the first class of accredited Brand Safety Officers is expected be announced prior to the end of the year.

Founding Sponsor Reaction

“Over recent years, the digital advertising industry has made significant strides in addressing some of its most important supply chain challenges,” said John DeVine, Head of Global Operations, Facebook. “On brand safety, however, success has been hindered by the complex nature of the issue, the wide range of executives within an organization responsible for it, and the inconsistency of training and expertise around it. The Brand Safety Institute will help our industry raise its baseline for brand safety by ensuring that executives across the industry have the knowledge, relationships, and skills they need.”

“Creating and sustaining a quality digital advertising supply chain has become one of the defining issues for marketers over the past several years, and they are rightly demanding more from their partners. We take our commitment to quality seriously at OpenX, and we believe that it is the responsibility of every credible player in the supply chain to ensure the ecosystem is high quality and well-lit,” said Dallas Lawrence, chief brand officer at OpenX. “We were one of the first exchanges to achieve platinum TAG status, and now as a founding sponsor of the Brand Safety Institute, we are supporting their efforts to train a global team of Brand Protection Officers across the digital advertising community. We are delighted to sponsor BSI’s efforts and look forward to working with them to raise the bar on brand safety.”

“In the complicated world of digital advertising, brand safety can be a daunting challenge,” said Derek Wise, VP of Contextual Intelligence at Oracle Data Cloud. “While adopting the right technologies is critical, it’s equally important for companies to find and empower executives who have the right expertise, training, and relationships to successfully manage the many levels of brand protection. We are pleased to support the Brand Safety Institute in its efforts to identify, train, and recognize the executives who will help lead these vital brand safety initiatives.”

Additional Reaction from Members of the BSI Board of Advisors:

“It’s exciting to help educate Brand Safety Officers (BSOs) and their companies on Brand Safety best practices. Let us not kid ourselves: we are an industry under attack. Only through the vigilance of BSOs, efforts to educate the market and the various trade groups working together can we work to eliminate fraud and help digital advertising reach its full potential.”
–  Rob Beeler, Chairman, AdMonsters

“The last mile of advertising supply chain security is educated, informed buyers that know how to mitigate risk. Becoming a certified Brand Safety Officer is the benchmark by which to judge those buyers.” 
–  Scott Cunningham, Owner, Cunningham.Tech and Author, Defining Brand Safety

“Hats off to the Brand Safety Institute! Their timing could not be better – we have had strong learning across the brand safety continuum over the last few years, and learning more every week. This equips all players to understand a common framework, speak the same language and, most importantly, resolve to a set of shared values around brand safety.”
–  Louis Jones, EVP, Media & Data Practice, 4A’s

“We welcome any time we can collaborate with both our peers and partners, across the digital ecosystem, to raise our collective knowledge base and align on brand safety for our clients. This an important strategic initiative to support and we look forward to the vital outcomes.”
–  David Murnick, EVP Digital Media Operations, Amplifi US, Dentsu Aegis Network

“Brand Safety in Digital Advertising is a global issue and requires standards. This program is a first and important step towards globally applicable standards and certificates.’
–  Oliver von Wersch, Founder & CEO, vonwerschpartner Digital Strategies