Oracle, we have a problem

Here’s an Associated Press article on Brian Emmett, who won a 2005 space trip sweepstakes through Oracle Corp. with much fanfare, but now has to bow out after realizing he could not pay the $25,000 in taxes that would be levied by the U.S. government for the trip.

Many people may remember Emmett because he gained celebrity status, gave multiple media interviews (with Oracle PR flacks probably close by), and appeared on stage at Oracle’s trade show.

The AP makes “Uncle Sam” out to be the bogeyman here, but my vote goes to Oracle for either not realzing Emmett would be saddled with thousands in taxes for the free trip, or for being too cheap to pony up the cash.  Oracle must have a whole legion of high-powered corporate lawyers who should understand basic tax law, so my bet is with the latter. 

They realized he would have to pay the taxes, but evidently thought it was his problem.

Microsoft’s ongoing marketing push for Vista includes a puzzle game with a space trip as first prize.  It’s a great prize that generates a lot of publicity.  But they’re smart enough, at least from a public relations standpoint, to include a $50,000 cash prize that could be used to pay for taxes.

Here’s a prediction.  If this story gets legs, Oracle’s whole legion of corporate PR professionals will smell an opportunity to “save the day,” and the company will courageously agree to pay for Emmett’s taxes.  

It’s the least they could do after milking the Emmett story for every ounce of publicity.  

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One Response to “Oracle, we have a problem”

  1. Jack Nicholson Says:

    It is for Oracle? What a surprise. Thanks a sharing such great news.

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