Training companies to protect their valuable brands.

Brand Safety Institute advances the emerging field of brand safety with training and certification delivered through Adobe Learning Manager.




Employees: 10

Washington, District of Columbia

Sets foundation for global expansion


Adobe Learning Manager ›

Adobe Captivate ›

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Support virtual learning for busy professionals in a new and growing field

Connect with other systems and platforms to encourage continued education beyond courses

Deliver training modules available on any device or platform

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Spreads brand safety awareness with professional training modules

Supports offline, mobile learning, allowing learners to train anytime, anywhere

Sets the foundation for global expansion with rich, future-proof functionality

Promotes continued education by rewarding learners through gamification

Protecting modern brands

In commerce today, a company’s single most valuable asset is its brand. But with the rise of ad exchanges and programmatic advertising, it is difficult for brands to track everywhere their ads appear. In extreme circumstances, brands may find themselves in trouble with the public due to their ads running on pages or sites that contain content that the brand or its customers would view as inappropriate for one reason or another.

This is where the concept of “brand safety” comes in. Every brand needs to understand how advertisements affect brand reputation and how to minimize brand risks. This can mean avoiding negative associations with criminal activity, malware, fake news, and hate speech. But it can also refer to less nefarious issues, such as avoiding paying for advertisements on websites that load slowly or are so poorly designed that viewers would rather click the back button or download an ad blocker.

Mike Zaneis and Neal Thurman co-founded the Brand Safety Institute (BSI) in 2018 as an organization focused on educating brands about brand safety and training individuals to become certified Brand Safety Officers (BSO) devoted to promoting best practices around brand safety at their companies.

“Brand safety is still a relatively new concept for digital advertising,” says Thurman. “Many people working in brand safety today were asked or assigned to cover one or more brand safety-related issues after arriving at their job, but they didn’t have a lot of support, references, or best practices to work from. We saw an opportunity with the Brand Safety Institute to help advance the practice of brand safety by providing training and accreditation to become a Brand Safety Officer.”

BSI launched its online training program using Adobe Learning Manager as the learning management system (LMS). “Our team has worked with many other LMS platforms, but Adobe Learning Manager has a breadth of features that gave us the confidence that it would grow with us in the long term,” says Thurman.

“Our team has worked with many other LMS platforms, but Adobe Learning Manager has a breadth of features that gave us the confidence that it would grow with us in the long term.”

Neal Thurman

Co-Founder, Brand Safety Institute

Training anytime, anywhere

In just a few months, BSI enrolled individuals from brands including Adobe, Facebook, Open X, and Oracle in its educational program. The team plans to eventually expand internationally and have thousands of BSOs using the platform.

BSO training involves ten modules developed using Adobe Captivate, eight of which focus on a specific aspect of brand safety. Adobe Learning Manager delivers modern learning experiences available on a desktop, laptop, or any mobile device. Learners can even take their lessons on the go by taking advantage of the offline learning capability to download and view lessons at any time, whether they’re commuting on a train or flying for business.

BSI also plans to take advantage of the gamification capabilities in Adobe Learning Manager to encourage further engagement with the BSI community and resources. The dashboard might show rewards for activities such as participating in discussion forums, studying supplementary materials, enrolling in webinars, or even uploading a case study. APIs will also connect the platform to additional products and experiences as needed in the future.

While BSI is not yet taking advantage of the embeddable Fluidic Player, they will soon take advantage of the feature to embed lessons in external sites and deliver a seamless experience for any type of content.

“The Adobe Learning Manager Fluidic Player is so reliable and intuitive that the user doesn’t even recognize that it’s there,” says Dan Dilsaver, Vice-President of IT at BSI. “Our initial tests have shown that the Fluidic Player works well on all platforms, so we’re exciting to start taking advantage of it in the future.”

“The Adobe Learning Manager Fluidic Player is so reliable and intuitive that the user doesn’t even recognize that it’s there.”

Dan Dilsaver

Vice-President of IT, Brand Safety Institute

Growing the future of brand safety

As part of a new and growing field, BSI partners with a variety of brands, trade bodies, and organizations. Sharing knowledge with experts across the digital advertising supply chain helps BSI reach its core audience and build an even stronger future for brand safety.

“Brand safety is a niche issue, but it’s becoming more important for big brands over time,” says Thurman. “We believe Adobe Learning Manager will continue to support us as our organization expands internationally and as we develop more complex training demands to support this critical, emerging issue.”

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