Marketing Madness

Microsoft Keeps Attacking Google Hard

The everyday advertiser loves Google for offering so much in the way of advertising tools, and bringing them so much success in using them. However there are others out there, particularly some of those other top names on the web that hate Google. They do not necessarily hate that the company is so successful with their enormous advertising presence, but because Google is known as the big boss in the advertising world. Surely there are some companies that simply accept the fact that Google will reign over them, not feeling any desire to fight the juggernaut. However, there are those others, like Microsoft which has waged a war with Google, doing everything it can to take the company down a notch or two.

Last month, I wrote about Microsoft’s attempts at damaging Google’s reputation with their Scroogled campaign. This campaign was based on the claim that Google was reading Gmail users’ emails and using the information to focus heavily on paid, targeted search ads and ads within Gmail itself. While it was true to some degree, it turns out that most Gmail users do not mind Google scanning their emails for keywords, especially considering it allows the company to serve better ads to these consumers.

Either way, Microsoft was still determined to hurt Google with the campaign. The company released countless attack ads through email, search engines, and they even went to the trouble of creating TV ads against Google. Scroogled has been a well-known campaign among advertisers and consumers alike, but it seems the campaign was not quite as effective as Microsoft had hoped.

Microsoft has now made the decision to stop creating ads attacking Google for its practices, according to an article from public media blog, KQED. It seems that the only success Microsoft found in their attack ad campaign was getting 110,000 people to sign a petition to, “Tell Google to stop going through your email to sell ads.” The petition’s goal was 25,000 signatures, and Microsoft far surpassed that number. However, the petition did not get far past that point, making very little change to the way Google does business.

However, an article from Marketing Land reports an email conversation with Stefan Weitz, Microsoft’s senior director of online services. In the conversation, Weitz reports that just because Scroogled is done with creating attack ads against Google, it does not mean that the Scroogled campaign itself is over. Here is the response from Weitz reported by Contributing Editor at Marketing Land, Greg Sterling;

As the issue has jumped into the mainstream and is becoming more present in everyday Americans’ minds, the amount of paid media we need to run to raise awareness is decreasing. That the campaign has jumped from mainstream back into the technosphere (see the RSA conference this week where Google’s GC again avoided the core issue) shows how it’s not just about ads running – it’s about the substance of the problem. We are definitely not dropping the campaign issue when we see things like 114k people from around the world have signed the petition and we’ve seen over 3.5MM people head to the Scroogled site.

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Michael Levanduski

Michael Levanduski is the assistant editor of Performance Marketing Insider, and an experienced freelance writer. He writes content for a wide range of sites in virtually every niche, though he specializes in technical writing as well as creating content for the performance and internet marketing industry. Michael was born in Grand Rapids, MI where he still lives with his wife and three children.

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One Comment

  1. Quite interesting really! I tried following up the issue of Google violating gmail users privacy but I gave up. What was the response? Are they apologetic or something.

    I honestly do not like the idea of someone going through my mails without my permission, even though Google says its the work of bots.

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