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Veritas to launch ad campaign

The storage-software company plans to launch a multimillion-dollar ad campaign to try to raise its profile.

Storage-software company Veritas Software will launch a multimillion-dollar ad campaign Monday to try to raise its profile.

Campaigns of this magnitude typically cost about $10 million, but Veritas expects to spend more because the effort will also include direct-marketing work, Jeremy Burton, the company's marketing chief, said Friday.

Burton joined Veritas four weeks ago after two years as senior vice president of product and services marketing at Oracle, a database-software company dominated by CEO Larry Ellison, a marketing guru.

"At some point you want to run your own show," Burton said.

Veritas makes widely used software for managing storage-system features such as backing up data or mirroring one storage system's data so it's also saved in another. It also sells software that lets one server take over if a comrade crashes.

Veritas is benefiting from the shift in the computing industry to use software to squeeze more utility out of existing storage systems. The company had $1.5 billion in revenue for 2001, a 24 percent increase over 2000's $1.2 billion.

But the company has been hurt by shrinking information technology spending, acquisition accounting issues and declining value of investments. The company's net loss for 2001 was $651 million.

Burton wanted to stay with a software company after he left Oracle, he said, and picked Veritas over Siebel Systems, whose software governs companies' relationships with customers, and BEA Systems, whose software runs e-business tasks such as online banking applications.

The advantage in going with Veritas is competing with hardware companies such as EMC, Sun Microsystems, Hewlett-Packard and IBM; whereas Siebel and BEA face more direct competition from software companies such as Microsoft, Oracle and SAP.

Burton arrived well after the new ad campaign was underway but had some influence in paring down the number of ads and simplifying their text.

"You won't see cute ads with lots of lines of copy on there. You're going to see big, bold messages and the Veritas logo," Burton said.

The ad campaign will focus on technology industry publications, though later Veritas will run ads in business publications as well, Burton added.

Advertising firm Hill, Holliday San Francisco developed the campaign.