Microsoft may have silently killed its Scroogled ad campaign (updated)

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With the introduction of a new CEO and a few personnel shifts, Microsoft is definitely making some changes, but along with its corporate restructuring, the company appears to have a new take on marketing as well. Derrick Connell, Microsoft’s corporate vice president in charge of Bing recently stated during an online Q&A session that the company was done with its highly publicized Scroogled ad campaign.

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Microsoft’s internal “Scroogled” video leaks, mocks Google’s own Chrome ads [video]

Another instalment in Microsoft’s “Scroogled” smear campaign attempting to point out the downsides of using Google services. While Microsoft has released many ads attacking Gmail, search and other Google products as part of the 7 figures it plans to drop on the campaign, this one was apparently supposed to be an internal video for employees anyway.

Whether it was a controlled leak or not, the ad, which takes cues from one of Google’s own Chrome ads, has happened to make its way online right in the middle of Google I/O and it doesn’t appear that a take down notice is getting issued.

Google has responded to the ads several times calling Microsoft’s approach ‘misleading and intellectually dishonest.’ Read more

Microsoft’s latest Scroogled ad warns against downloading apps on Google Play

If you don’t know by now, since early February Microsoft has been running its “Scroogled” smear campaign spending 7 figures on a series of print and online ads attacking various Google services. The ads originally focused on Gmail and how Google displays ads based on the content of user’s emails, but Microsoft’s latest Scroogled ad (above) takes on another Google app– Google Play.

The ad is currently featured on the front page of Microsoft’s Scroogled website and features a warning that Google passes off personal information about users to app makers without consent from users:

When you buy an Android app from the Google app store, they give the app maker your full name, email address and the neighborhood where you live. This occurs without clear warning every single time you buy an app. If you can’t trust Google’s app store, how can you trust them for anything?

We expect Google will be issuing a response to Microsoft’s claims shortly. Another Scroogled ad claiming Google Play sends personal data to app makers below: Read more

Google exec says Microsoft’s Scroogled ads are ‘misleading and intellectually dishonest’

Microsoft’s latest smear campaign against Google services kicked into full gear earlier this month with the launch of several online video and print ads as part of its “Scroogled” campaign. Privacy is at the heart of the issues with Gmail depicted in the commercials, with the majority highlighting how Google scans the bodies of emails to serve up relevant ads in Gmail. According to a report from Datamation, Google executives commented on the claims during a panel discussion yesterday with heads from Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and Mozilla at the RSA Security conference.

Challenging Microsoft’s claims, Google’s Senior Privacy Counsel Keith Enright said the following:

Microsoft alleges that Google’s contextual ads, which show up alongside user email, is a violation of user privacy. Google does not agree. Enright noted that the use of automated algorithms is commonplace across multiple facets of technology and is not an issue of privacy. He added that automated algorithms are used to make the contextual ads more relevant. “The idea that doing that (contextual advertising) is in any way detrimental to privacy, or is antithetical to the interests of our users, I think is misleading and intellectually dishonest,” Enright said.

Enright continued: Read more

Microsoft says ex-gmail users make up a third of 60M Outlook.com users

On top of officially announcing the launch of Outlook.com today, Microsoft is making the rounds with the press by offering some stats on the newly launched service. While announcing the service has grown to 60 million active users in just six months of the limited preview release, Outlook.com Senior Director Dharmesh Mehta told Bloomberg that a third of those users are ex-Gmail customers. The news follows the launch of Microsoft’s latest Google smear campaign with a series of “Scroogled” ads depicting security and privacy concerns related to Google scanning users’ email to display ads.

While free e-mail isn’t a huge money-maker — Mehta said Outlook.com carries about 60 percent fewer advertisements than Microsoft’s previous Hotmail product — the Redmond, Washington- based company considers it critical to gaining and retaining consumers. Microsoft, the world’s largest software maker, has been losing users of its Windows operating system to smartphones and tablets such as Apple Inc.’s iPad.

According to Mehta, roughly 20 million of Outlook.com’s users  have switched from Gmail and now use the service as their “primary free e-mail account.” There is of course no real way of knowing how many users have actually decided to make the switch, and how many of those users are continuing to use both accounts. As for the Scroogled campaign, Mehta shared that Microsoft is spending “tens of millions” on many TV, online print, and bus ads in the US, as well as TV ads in Europe slated to debut in the coming weeks.

Bing compares Google Shopping to Ebenezer Scrooge in ‘Don’t Get Scroogled’ campaign

Microsoft loves to launch ad campaigns against its No. 1 enemy, Google, and now it is embarking on yet another for Christmastime, called “Don’t Get Scroogled“, that places the Google Shopping experience under a microscope.

Bing, Microsoft’s search engine, lambasted Google today and alerted consumers of Mountain View’s pay-to-rank system for shopping results. Here’s an excerpt from the “Don’t Get Scroogled: Bing Launches Campaign for Honest Search to Help Shoppers this Holiday Season” blog post on Bing’s community website:

“Specifically, we want to alert you to what Google has done with their shopping site right in time for Christmas. Instead of showing you the most relevant shopping search results for the latest coffee maker you’re looking to buy mom, Google Shopping now decides what to show you – and how prominently to display what product offers they show — based partially on how much the merchant selling the product has paid them. Merchants can literally pay to improve their chances to display their product offers higher than others inside of Google’s shopping “search,” even if it’s not better or cheaper for the consumer. The result of this new “pay-to-rank” system is that it’s easy for consumers to mistake an ad for an honest search. That’s not right, it’s misleading. It’s not what you expect from search, and it’s not how we at Bing think search engines should help consumers get the best prices and selection when shopping.”

The Redmond, Wash.-based search engine basically said shoppers who use Google for their shopping searches are “getting ‘Scroogled’ when they should be getting fair, honest, open search.” Bing then compared Google Shopping to Ebenezer Scrooge and noted, “We think consumers should be aware what they’re seeing when they’re shopping online and to understand, without any hidden text or traps, the fine print of what their ‘search engine’ actually searches.”

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