The agreement reflects changes in how Ziff packages deals and content; it comes as the company prepares to shorten its name from Ziff-Davis Publishing Co. to reflect expansion into TV and the Web.
In another unusual arrangement, Symantec Corp. is working with Ziff to sell software subscriptions on the Web.
`100% PURE JAVA'
Ziff will get an estimated $9 million to $10 million over the next six months to promote a "100% Pure Java" program. The buy is exclusive to Ziff in the computer media category through June.
JavaSoft is responsible for making the Java software standard ubiquitous in computing. JavaSoft will now test other companies' Java-based software and allow companies-JavaSoft's partners-to use a "100% Pure Java" logo.
The Ziff deal grew out of a conversation last fall between George Paolini, JavaSoft director of corporate marketing, and Terri Holbrooke, Ziff senior VP-marketing, who created a similar worldwide logo program while at Novell.
Mr. Paolini said Ziff rivals International Data Group and CMP Media weren't offered a chance to bid on the program because of time constraints and the complexities of the logo launch.
JavaSoft ads will run in 40 publications around the world owned by Ziff-Davis, parent Softbank Corp. and licensees. The media company also will bundle CD-ROM software with and run advertorials in many magazines; develop TV spots for a Ziff-Davis show produced for MSNBC; develop a Web site; start a Java journal; and possibly cooperate on special events to attract developers.
Perhaps the biggest payoff for JavaSoft and Ziff: Software companies that qualify to run the new logo can buy space in Ziff titles at up to a 70% discount. Mr. Paolini said Ziff could sell more than $50 million in ads to companies promoting "100% Pure Java" software.
JavaSoft's print and TV ads were created by J. Walter Thompson USA, San Francisco, Sun's agency before it began its current global review. Freeman Associates, Wellesley, Mass., handles media.
Mr. Paolini said JavaSoft will run ads in The Wall Street Journal and other media at the same time the Ziff plan rolls out; rival computer media may be added after Ziff's exclusive in that category ends in June.
Separately, Ziff and Symantec in March launched HealthyPC.com (http://www.healthypc.com), a "channel" on Ziff's ZDNet site.
Ziff contributed ad sales, editorial, subscription selling and Web design; Symantec added technology and a well-known software brand.
The site offers free information on maintaining PCs plus a fee-based "Health Club" offering Symantec's latest anti-virus software and other services. The two split subscription money; Ziff will keep all ad revenue.