ORACLE GLOBAL DEAL SEEN AS $15 MIL BOON FOR ZIFF-DAVIS: AD SECTIONS TO OFFER BIG SAVINGS FOR SOFTWARE MAKERS

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Oracle Corp. signed an exclusive global ad program with Ziff-Davis that could grow to $15 million in annual print and Web ad revenue.

Ziff-Davis and Oracle are teaming up to offer Oracle software application developers a chance to buy into advertorial sections, starting in December-at 73% off the rate card.

The ad deal is part of a broader marketing plan to create interest in the more than 7,000 software applications that other companies have developed to run on Oracle's market-leading database and server software. Oracle hopes promoting the applications will help sell its products.

'ON ORACLE' LOGO

To be in the program, Oracle "partners" must use a new "On Oracle" logo in advertising and promotional materials, and in the screen that appears when a software application boots up.

More than 500 partners so far have agreed to run the logo.

"We wanted to become the 'Intel inside' of the software industry," said Van Diamandakis, Oracle's director-strategic communi- cations for Worldwide Alliances & Technologies.

Oracle doesn't have Intel Corp.'s $750 million co-op budget. But Oracle was able to stretch its limited budget by negotiating discounts with Ziff-Davis to pass along to partners.

In a six-month test starting with January cover dates, Oracle will pay Ziff-Davis $2.2 million to develop two 24-page magazine-style advertorial sections running in six U.S. tech publications, such as PC Magazine, and in Ziff-Davis titles in Canada, the U.K., Australia and New Zealand.

Two-page advertorials will run in months when the quarterly doesn't appear.

ZIFF TO CREATE MICROSITE

Ziff-Davis also will create a "microsite" tied to its ZDNet (www.zdnet.com), said Jeff Bruce, executive director of Ziff-Davis Media Network, who negotiated the package.

Oracle partners, in turn, will spend at least $4.1 million on ads in the sections and on the Web, Mr. Diamandakis said.

For the U.S. buy, advertisers will pay from $2,900-to be listed in the advertorial and on the Web site-to $50,000, which includes a page ad, Web content and banner ads. International prices haven't been finalized.

Assuming the test delivers, Mr. Diamandakis plans to expand the program into key markets in Europe, Asia and Latin America in mid-1998 and then go global.

When the program expands worldwide, Mr. Diamandakis said, money from Oracle and partners could generate $15 million annually in ad revenue for Ziff-Davis.

ORACLE TALKED TO IDG

Mr. Diamandakis said he talked to rival International Data Group but decided to go with Ziff-Davis based in part on comprehensive discount packages the company put together for Microsoft Corp.'s Windows 95 launch two years ago and Sun Microsystems' JavaSoft this year (AA, March 31).

The Oracle and Java deals were coups for Ziff-Davis, which in the past has seen little business from Oracle or Sun. Mr. Diamandakis noted Ziff-Davis was willing to discount heavily in part to get a foot in the door at Oracle.

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