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
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?
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of Burleson Enterprises or any of its subsidiaries.