We took flak earlier this month for saying Oracle appeared to be, yet again, making wild advertising claims without any evidence. The business software company was just fined over those claims, since —go figure — it had no evidence.
Oracle's Wall Street Journal ad (above) said its database ran "faster" on Oracle's own Sun hardware —at "XX transactions per minute" — than competitor IBM's database and server combo. Some of our commenters insisted that Oracle CEO Larry Ellison must have had the "XX" numbers to prove his claim but was, as his ad seemed to imply, sitting on them until an Oct. 14 event.
But Ellison, known for commissioning ads about capabilities that don't yet exist, shouldn't have been given the benefit of the doubt. He's just been fined $10,000 by the benchmarking council Oracle belongs to "because Oracle did not have a [benchmarking] result at the time of publication."
Oracle has not submitted any current evidence to the TPC to sustain this claimed result. Oracle has been directed to cease publication of the advertisement in print or online.
Lesson: Never assume that Larry Frickin' Ellison, of all people, is being coy and modest. Larry Ellison does not do coy or modest. If he has numbers, he will use them. And then some!