Lines blur between ads and news

“Native ads” – the paid online ads that look like articles and are sometimes hard to distinguish from a publication’s editorial copy – have been popping up with increasing frequency on news outlets across the web, including The New York Times and Wall Street Journal. But the Federal Trade Commission is now cracking down on advertisers whose native ads don’t feature the proper disclosures, David Lazarus writes in the Los Angeles Times.

“Consumers have the right to know when they’re looking at paid advertising,” said Jessica Rich, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. “They do. And with print publications, that was seldom an issue. On the Internet, it’s a whole new ball game.

Read more in Click here for actual journalism. (The Los Angeles Times)

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Banks debate use of PINs vs. signatures for fraud control

WSJThe Home Depot and Staples data breaches exposed how the current magstripe cards are not as secure as the more advanced “chip-and-PIN” technology, which has been adopted in Europe, Australia and Canada. The U.S. is one of the few developed countries not to embrace it. The EMV chip migration deadline is fast approaching and financial institutions are motivated to boost security measures with chip-and-signature or chip-and-pin cards.

The decision whether to issue cards that require a PIN or a signature “is a very strong debate” in the industry,” said Martin Ferenczi, president of North American operations for Oberthur Technologies in an interview with The Wall Street Journal.

Read the full article:

Why New Credit Cards May Fall Short on Fraud Control (The Wall Street Journal)


Brentwood Associates’ Operating Partner, Roger Goddu discusses oil prices with The Wall Street Journal

Brentwood AssociatesRoger Goddu and PricewaterhouseCoopers’ Leanne Sardiga discuss the oil price dip and what it means to consumers and the overall economy with Hillary Canada, reporter for The Wall Street Journal.

“We should be clear: it’s a major good news event for our economy as a whole,” said Goddu. “There’s going to be great benefit in 2015.”

Watch the full video discussion:

Brentwood’s Goddu: Oil Slide Is “Good News” For Economy

Brentwood Associates gifts GoPros to portfolio companies

Brentwood Associates GoPro gift“Santa Claus isn’t the only one handing out presents this season,” reports Lillian Rizza of The Wall Street Journal. Brentwood Associates, a leading consumer-focused private equity investment firm gave their portfolio companies GoPros this holiday season.

“We’re encouraging everyone to use the cameras and do something fun with it,” said Bill Barnum, a partner at Brentwood.

Read the full article:

Private Equity Gifts That Keep on Giving

DreamHammer talks drone regulation in CIO Journal

Rachael King writes in The Wall Street Journal’s CIO Journal about a Senate hearing on drone safety and privacy. In the article, DreamHammer CEO Nelson Paez tells Rachael about the difficulties recruiting investors in the current regulatory environment:

“The investment community won’t put money into a Wild West of regulation,” Paez said.

Read the full article below (log-in required) to learn more about the Senate hearing and what happened when Senator Dianne Feinstein came face-to-face with a drone at her home.

Drone Safety, Privacy Debated at Senate Hearing

UT study: The higher your status, the less you use pronoun ‘I’

WSJ_logoNew research from the University of Texas suggests that people who often say “I” are less powerful and less sure of themselves than those who limit their use of the word, reports The Wall Street Journal.

Frequent “I” users subconsciously believe they are subordinate to the person to whom they are talking.

“There is a misconception that people who are confident, have power, have high-status tend to use ‘I’ more than people who are low status,” says Dr. Pennebaker, author of “The Secret Life of Pronouns.” “That is completely wrong. The high-status person is looking out at the world and the low-status person is looking at himself.”

Lazy Dog announces investment from Brentwood Associates

BrentwoodLazy Dog Restaurant & Bar, the popular West Coast restaurant concept known for its eclectic menu of memorable family favorites reinterpreted with bold new flavors, announced that Brentwood Associates, a leading consumer-focused private equity firm, has made a significant investment in the family-run company.

CEO and founder Chris Simms will continue to lead the existing management team and expects to continue to grow the Lazy Dog brand into one of the nation’s leading casual dining restaurant companies.

“The most important thing about the investment is that it’s an opportunity to partner with what I consider to be really great restaurateurs,” said Rahul Aggarwal, Brentwood’s managing director, in an interview with Dow Jones. “At the end of the day, restaurants are people businesses and these are people that we have all the confidence in the world in.”

Lazy Dog represents the fifth investment the firm has made in the restaurant industry in the last decade.

Read more about the announcement:

Not all news media is for sale in China

Much of the media coverage in China is apparently for sale, according to an article this week in the New York Times. The practice is pervasive with PR consultants divided on how much to embrace the practice.

How pervasive? Try $20,000 per page in in the Chinese version of Esquire, $4,000 per minute on state-run China Central Television and $1 per character in Workers’ Daily, the Communist Party’s newspaper.

Pay for play is certainly not limited to China. It’s usually much more obvious in the U.S. though and tends to be clearly labeled. Also, not all press in China blends advertising and editorial content so willingly.

At Olmstead Williams Communications, our clients want to be in The Wall Street Journal and on top wires such as Reuters and the Associated Press. There are no shortcuts to penetrate the high bars for their Chinese bureaus — or any other bureau. Only a story that merits the attention will do.

Study: Number of female entrepreneuers on rise

Despite the recession, female entrepreneuers are becoming more prevalent in the United States, according to a study conducted by the University of New Hampshire’s Center for Venture Research and reported in a recent Wall Street Journal article and video post by Emily Glazer. Glazer calls attention to a number of female-centric mentoring and investing organizations that have grown significantly over the past few years.

The percentage of women grew to 20 percent last year among those seeking start-up capital, a significant rise from 12.6 percent just 10 years ago. The number of women who actually received funding grew from 9.5 percent in 2008 to 13 percent in 2010. The two top fields where female entrepreneurs are thriving are, unsurprisingly, fashion and e-commerce.

While great strides are being made to level the playing field, there is still a long way to go. Women currently represent just over 15 percent of angel investors and only 5-7 percent of partners at high-tech venture capital firms.