Dana Gardner did a puff interview with Oracle and HP regarding Exadata, and clearly disclosed sponsorship up top. So far, so good. My sponsored work is a lot more independent than that, but I’m probably an outlier at the other extreme. Gardner’s view of what’s ethical in this regard is a common one, and the point of this post isn’t to argue with his choices in that regard, nor of those who hired him.
Where things went badly awry is on an Oracle corporate blog, which said:
Wow. Response to the Oracle Database Machine and Exadata Storage Server is amazing!
Want to know the inside story on this announcement?
Industry analyst Dana Gardner did and interviewed Rich Palmer, HP’s director of technology and strategy for the industry standard servers group and Willie Hardie, Oracle’s vice president of Database Marketing.
I think that clearly implies Gardner did an independent interview, and hence is deceptive.
Even worse, the name on the blog post is jenny.gelhausen. Searching elsewhere on that name suggests she had something to do with Oracle investor relations in 2005-6. Hopefully, if this is indeed the same person, she subsequently transferred out of the area. I take a very dim view of deceptive investor relations folks. Deliberate deception is, up to a point, standard in marketing and sales, but it should be an iron taboo in the IR arena.