Novell plans ú17m drive to revamp image

Software company Novell is to follow the route of Microsoft and attempt to become a household name.

Novell, worth $2bn (̼1.3bn), is the second largest software firm in the world. But, unlike competitor Microsoft, it is not well-known outside the IT world. Although Novell merged with WordPerfect last June Рadding education, games and business software to its product line-up Рit is still known primarily for its roots in networking software.

Novell intends to spend up to ú17m changing that image and is appointing a single agency in the US to replace the agencies it uses. Like Microsoft’s $100m drive through Wieden & Kennedy, Novell is expected to discard product-led advertising in favour of branding campaigns.

The move could result in the company dropping Fox Parrack Fox and Banner & Co, which handle its ú3m UK account.

Talks are to be held between Novell and its Utah headquarters over the next few weeks, with insiders backing the move to global branding.

Analysts say the advertising shake-up was vital. “Microsoft has considerable marketing muscle. If Novell is interested in targeting the same business and consumer markets it will have to shape up,” says Jeremy Davis, a senior partner with European computer research firm Context.

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