September 30, 2008

Oracle crosses the line on integrity :(

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.


6 Responses to “Oracle crosses the line on integrity :(”

  1. Vincent McBurney on October 1st, 2008 5:49 pm

    I don’t think so, in the first minute of the podcast Dana clearly states that the podcast is sponsored by HP. This is where a disclaimer belongs since there is no telling where the podcast is going to be copied to or linked from.

    Disclaimer: Dana and I both have a blog on the ITToolbox blog network.

  2. Curt Monash on October 1st, 2008 7:05 pm


    To repeat — I’m not criticizing Dana. I’m criticizing Oracle for its distortion.


  3. Oracle Lurker on October 1st, 2008 11:08 pm

    Jenny’s title is “Director of Database Product Marketing”. I’d bet a simple email would have sufficed to get that information.

  4. Curt Monash on October 2nd, 2008 1:23 am

    Thanks. Perhaps it would have.

    But since when has linking to a blog been inadequate identification of a blog’s author?


  5. Daniel Weinreb on October 2nd, 2008 6:00 am

    Sadly, portrayal of paid pieces as independent analysis sometimes seems to be the norm, rather than the exception, in this industry. That does not in any way mitigate Oracle’s responsibility if they have committed this sin as well, of course.

    It’s always been important to pay careful attention to the sources of one’s information. That’s even more true in the Web era. But it’s hard work, and when one sees the name of a respected organization, one tends to think, OK, I don’t need to further check the credentials of the author. But that’s not true, since those organizations often produce material that isn’t unbiased at all. If only they’d be very explicit about it, when they do it.

  6. Advice for some non-clients | DBMS2 -- DataBase Management System Services on July 30th, 2010 10:35 am

    […] been making progress against your reputation for untruthfulness. Oh, I’ve dinged you for some past slip-ups, but on the whole they’ve been no worse than other vendors.’ But recently you […]

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