Oracle forced to pull advert that attacked Big Blue

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Better Business Bureau’s National Advertising Division makes the order

Oracle has been forced to agree that it will not run an advert that claims its
Exadata systems are much faster than IBM’s hardware.

The company pulled the adverts after IBM complained to the Better Business Bureau’s National Advertising Division (NAD).

NAD accused the company of making deceptive, misleading claims about IBM hardware after it claimed that its “Exadata 20X Faster… Replaces IBM Again.”

It claimed:  “Exadata 20x Faster … Replaces IBM Again.
“Giant European Retailer Moves Databases from IBM Power to Exadata … Runs 20 Times Faster”

NAD said it had investigated whether the advertising could be seen as implying that all Oracle Exadata systems were 20 times faster than all IBM Power systems. It took note of IBM’s arguments that the “20x Faster” claim made overly broad references to “Exadata” and “IBM Power,” resulting in a misleading claim.

Oracle however, argued that the advertisement represented a case study, not a line claim, and that the sophisticated target audience would understand that the advertisement was based on the experience of one customer – the “Giant European Retailer” referenced in the advertisement.

However, NAD said that Oracles justification wasn’t enough. It said that although the company may have been talking about one system, its general references to “Exadata” and “IBM Power,” along with the bold unqualified headline “Exadata 20x Faster Replaces IBM Again,” conveyed a much broader message.

It said there was also no hard evidence to back these claims. As a result it ordered the company to pull the advert.

Oracle, which said it was “disappointed” with the decision has vowed to appeal.

IBM however, was much happier, claiming it was pleased with the outcome of the advert that  ” made false, misleading and deceptive claims in violation of advertising law.”

This isn’t the first time Oracle has faced NAD’s wrath. In March it was ordered to pull an advert after it claimed that its SPARC SuperCluster T4-4 ran Oracle & Java Twice as Fast as IBM’s Fastest Computer, which the Wall Street Journal ran for three months.


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