Microsoft has taken aim at Google before with its ‘Scroogled’ advertising campaign, and now it’s revived the attack tactics, slating Gmail’s policy of reading your emails to target ads.
“Think Google respects your privacy? Think again,” says Microsoft’s advert. It says that nasty Google goes through your every email, reading every word, so it can target ads to you based on what you’re writing about.
[quote]“Emails are personal — and people feel that reading through their emails to sell ads is out of bounds,” said Stefan Weitz, senior director of Online Services at Microsoft in a statement. “We honor the privacy of our Outlook.com users, and we are concerned that Google violates that privacy every time an Outlook.com user exchanges messages with someone on Gmail. This campaign is as much about protecting Outlook.com users from Gmail as it is about making sure Gmail users know what Google’s doing.”[/quote]
To illustrate this, Microsoft has a pair of shifty-looking eyes reading an email. Outlook.com, however, “prioritises privacy”, according to the ad.
In a press release pushed out today, Microsoft said the Scroogled campaign is also an attempt to educate Americans on some of the bad practices used by email providers. A study commissioned by Microsoft reveals that 70% of consumers “don’t know that major email providers routinely engage in the practice of reading through their personal email to sell ads”, while a larger 88% disapprove of the practice.
Previously Microsoft has used the “Scroogled” catch-phrase to warn users against Google Shopping’s practices, but today sees the campaign expanded into a much wider attack on Google and their advertising methods. Gmail has been targeted this time around, but it’s likely more services will be highlighted in future campaigns.