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Don Burleson Blog 







OPN PartnerCasts: Partner Tool or Infomercial?

Personal Opinion by Donald K. Burleson
April 4, 2011  

In keeping with its reputation for a robust approach to everything, Oracle has recently added a new service for its Oracle Partners.  Media Network appears to be a multi-media sales tool for Oracle Partners.  

After paying thousands of dollars to become an Oracle Partner, for an additional fee, Oracle Partners can then have their products and services endorsed by industry experts via the Media Network.

These multi-media presentations are called OPN PartnerCasts, and Oracle is marketing these videos as a tool to assist Oracle partners in highlighting their services.

Oracle clearly states that these are marketing tools for Oracle Partners to use to promote their products and services:  

“Find out about Oracle Marketing Kits, tools & resources available to partners to create their own demand generation campaigns and to highlight themselves in the marketplace.”  

The problem is that these OPN PartnerCasts do not clearly state that they are paid product endorsements.   Everyone loves a good infomercial because it is a great way to learn the features of products or services that you might otherwise miss; however, informercials always clearly state that they are paid product endorsements.  Omission of that information in this situation is misleading.

In the case of the OPN PartnerCasts, it is inevitable that some Oracle Partners are going to capitalize on this omission resulting in the promotion of their advertising as if the endorsements are truly independent rather than paid for. 

At the moment, it is possible for endorsements to show up in blogs and other forms of media in the format of "I saw this great video ... featuring ... "   with a link to the video on the Media Network site and using the name of a known industry expert, and there would never be any disclosure that it is a paid endorsement.

So, Oracle is creating customized paid advertising for their Oracle Partners as an added service, which is not objectionable.  The issue is the failure to clearly disclose that the endorsements have been paid for, which is then perpetuated further by their clients who publicly post links to the advertising without disclosing the true nature of the endorsement.

You can judge for yourself.  Do you find these paid advertisements deceptive since the broadcasts do not clearly disclose that they are paid endorsements?


The opinions expressed on this web page do not necessarily reflect those
of Burleson Enterprises or any of its subsidiaries.



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