Microsoft’s ‘Scroogled’ Campaign Is On The Way Out [UPDATED]

    March 4, 2013
    Josh Wolford
    Comments are off for this post.

Bing’s “Scroogled” campaign, the one that not-so-subtly claims that you’re getting screwed by Google on a everyday basis (Bing says that it’s not Screw-gled, but Scrooge-led, like Ebenezer). is on the way out.

According to KQED, the TV, newspaper, and social media ad campaign is about to cease.

“That part is about finished,” said Stefan Weitz, Microsoft senior director of online services.

The Scroogled website is still up and running, and there’s no word on whether Bing will abandon the campaign entirely. But it looks like the actual advertisements are about to be phased out.

Originally targeted at Google Shopping results, Bing eventually morphed the Scroogled campaign into an attack on Google for purported Gmail privacy violations.

“Think Google respects your privacy? Think again. Google goes through every Gmail that’s sent or received, looking for keywords so they can target Gmail users with paid ads. And there’s no way to opt out of this invasion of your privacy,” says the Scroogled site.

That claim, which correctly points out the Google does (algorithmically) scan message content to serve ads, is a bit misleading (in-depth on that here).

UPDATE: Here’s a statement we received from Microsoft on the campaign:

The Scroogled campaign has sparked a dialogue that shows how much consumers care about their privacy, and how strongly they feel about the fact that Google goes through their personal emails to sell ads. More than 3.5 million people visited Scroogled.com, and over 114k signed a petition asking Google to stop going through their Gmail. While the ad portion of this phase of the consumer education campaign has finished its scheduled run, this important conversation about privacy continues, and so does this important consumer choice.

Check here for more coverage of Microsoft’s Scroogled campaign.

  • Conran

    I hope they don’t give up their attack on Google completely. This is working, and chipping away at the domination Google has enjoyed in the past. We need a more diverse and fair playing field in the SE market, and we need to show Google that it has become too big for the good of the internet and the users out there.

    Anything that loosens Google’s strangling Mafia-like grip on global small business is a good thing and should be supported.

  • http://performetrics.com.au performetrics

    It surprises me Bing think this whole campaign is at all a good way to go about taking market share off Google.

    There’s nothing worse than a sooky little runner up resorting to such tactics not to mention the above ad is poxy in the lamest of ways.

    Maybe they should spend that money on developing a better search engine!

  • Trevor

    Google was pretty up-front about the contextual ads when they first rolled out Gmail. It’s not like Google employees are going through your Happy Birthday emails to Grandma, it’s an algorithm. And finally, while you cannot stop Gmail from analyzing the context of your emails, you can hide the ads by using the basic HTML interface or POP. I’m not trying to be a super Google fanboy, but all of Bing’s arguments don’t really have a leg to stand on.