SAP has succeeded in its attempts to ban Siebel advertising in Germany by getting a German court to back it. But Siebel claims the ruling was reached without a fair hearing or a discussion of the facts.
Siebel insists that the banned ads present "factual statements about the use of Siebel Systems software and the contrasting track records of Siebel Systems and SAP in releasing customer relationship management (CRM) software".
"We find it curious that a German court would take this action without granting a hearing or a discussion of the facts," said Jeff Amann, Vice President and General Counsel, Siebel Systems. "On the other hand, this is the same court system that recently prohibited a US-based company from offering an unlimited money-back guarantee to customers in Germany."
One of the banned ad campaigns lists companies, many of which are also SAP customers, that use Siebel Systems software for CRM. They feature statements such as "Bayer Runs Siebel," "Deutsche Telekom Runs Siebel," "IBM Runs Siebel," and "Palm Runs Siebel." The ad concludes with a statement that reads, "Siebel: The CRM solution for more than 350 companies running SAP."
Another banned ad presents facts about the history of CRM software releases by Siebel Systems and SAP. Under the headline, "The Evolution of CRM," the ad displays a chart indicating each company's track record of releasing CRM software since 1995. It claims that prior to the release of mySAP.com CRM, SAP had made six previous attempts to develop CRM software, none of which were commercially viable. The ad also states that the number of production users of its current release is unverified.
Last month Siebel CEO Tom Siebel caused a storm when it was revealed that staff at the company were being given crib sheets on how to undermine SAP’s claims for its success in the CRM market.