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Oracle plans first branding campaign, first pan-Euro work

Published on .

LONDON -- U.S. computer services company Oracle has taken the worldwide decision to take a high profile branded approach to marketing that has previously focussed on products and services. It is now briefing ad agencies for its first pan-regional campaign for Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA).

U.K.-based agencies Publicis, Saatchi & Saatchi, Delaney Fletcher Bozell and McCann-Erickson are among those asked to pitch for the account, thought to be worth $7.8m, though U.K. Director of Marketing Nick Barley says other mainland European shops are also likely to be included. The U.K., Germany, Italy and France are Oracle's key European markets.

Until now, advertising strategy and agencies have been decided at local level on a country by country basis.

"There's been a feeling at grass-roots level that we needed to do more branding advertising and Ray Lane (company president) has really bought into it in the last six months and is driving it strongly from the top, so this is getting pushed from both ends," says Barley.

"We're a $4.2bn company, with 40% growth, responsible for managing a huge chunk of the world's information resources," he adds."We're the sort of company that should have a high profile.In fact, we're probably the biggest company that no-one's ever heard of."

The U.K. is the only market that has seen branding advertising - through a Saatchi & Saatchi print execution in the early 90s under Barley's predecessor. But that was replaced after nine months. U.K. incumbent is London-based Gyrographics.

Barley stresses that pan-European advertising plans are at an early stage. A meeting at EMEA headquarters in Amsterdam to discuss initial agency briefings only happened two weeks ago."Clearly this is all subject to change and there are areas where we haven't dotted the "i"s and crossed the "t"s." Media is one such area, but Barley concedes that the company will step outside of its conventional usage of print and the Web.

Copyright October 1996, Crain Communications Inc.

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