Many of you will remember a series of ads that surfaced some time ago attacking Google from within Microsoft’s camp. Dubbed the “Scroogled” campaign, the attack ads were a not-so-subtle way of Microsoft to get across the message that Google’s free services weren’t really free and that ads are evil, and by proxy that Google is evil. While at first focusing on GMail and other services to get Windows users to use Outlook and OneDrive (formerly known as SkyDrive) the campaigns soon shifted to taking on the Chromebook, decrying that it “wasn’t a real laptop” and that the Chromebook was another way to “Scroogle” customers. For a lot of us in the know, these ads simply seemed more of a cry for help from Microsoft than anything else and now, it looks like they could have given up on the campaign altogether.
As ZDNet is reporting, Derrick Connell, a Microsoft Corporate Vice President of Bing Experiences, recently hosted a Q&A session in which he revealed that Microsoft was “done” with the Scroogled campaign. Since then however, Connell’s comments from the Q&A session have been removed at Microsoft’s request. Speaking of the campaign, Connell said that “e main purpose was to bring attention to some activities that we didn’t like as a company (for e.g. the idea of scanning email for the purpose of selling you ads seemed wrong). As a company we deeply care about trustworthy computing and user privacy. We felt there were things happening in the industry that didn’t match our world view, and the campaign was aimed at providing information to consumers.” Which we can agree that the ads did indeed raise awareness, their negative tone and punches thrown towards Google seemed more like attack ads than anything else.
When asking Connell about the future of the campaign, May Jo Foley was told “I think we achieved that goal, and changed some policies, and we are now done with the campaign. Mostly I feel proud that we decided to do it regardless of how we might be perceived.” So, the head of Bing Experiences is “proud” that they had to attack Google in order to raise awareness for their competing products. Negative campaigns like Scroogled have never sat well with me personally, I find that it’s best to tell people what you’ve got to offer, regardless of what the competition is doing, instead of just pointing the finger. What do you think though? Let us know in the comments and over on Google+!