NOVELL BELATEDLY PUSHES ITS INTERNET CAPABILITIES: 'ROCK THE NET' PRODUCT, BRAND ADS TO HEAVY UP ON PRINT MEDIA: NOT INTO TV: NEW CHIEF FOCUSES ON NET

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Novell puts the Internet at the center of all advertising in a new campaign themed "Rock the Net."

Novell, the dominant PC networking software company, missed early opportunities to take a lead on the Internet. Now it's introducing nouvelle Novell: a company with the attitude to take charge, to do business on the Net, to empower people.

The campaign from Y&R Advertising, San Francisco, started with a spread Jan. 30 in The Wall Street Journal and USA Today pushing a brand message. Advertising rolls global in coming weeks.

All product and brand ads will use the same look and "Rock the Net" headline, which will run in English in most countries.

Novell will spend about $20 million in North America this year on advertising, including brand and product ads, according to Joe Rodriguez, worldwide advertising director.

Media will include business and computer publications, the World Wide Webs and possibly radio and outdoor.

Mr. Rodriguez said Novell for now is putting its money elsewhere than TV, making the marketer one of the few major business tech companies not using TV to push a Net vision.

Novell's budget outside the U.S. is estimated at about $20 million.

Print ads will be short on copy and feature stylish photos of Novell's idealized Web business users: smart, upbeat, maverick thirtysomethings with an attitude.

The goal is to position Novell as "a company that knows where it's going, a company that can really help you take charge," said Jay Dean, Y&R account managing director.

Novell shows how it can play all parts of the Net-Internet, intranet and Novell's old space, local area networks that hook together PCs in an office.

The company previously missed a chance to use its dominance in local area networks to get an early lead on the Internet. Chairman-CEO Robert Frankenberg resigned in August amid criticism he had failed to communicate a mission-and a Web strat- egy-for the company.

Joseph Marengi, promoted from sales chief to president, has put the focus on the Net.

Novell now must revive sales and profits, dodge recurring take-over rumors and catch up to Net leaders like Microsoft Corp.

Novell's revenues, profits and stock price have languished, not suggesting the image of a leader. Sales in the year ended Oct. 26 fell 32.6% to $1.375 billion,

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