Scroogled

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Scroogled was a campaign by American software company Microsoft, that criticized Google on a number of fronts. The campaign was created for Microsoft by Mark Penn and started in late November 2012. The campaign aimed to drive users away from Google's services by attacking Google services. It was part of an effort by Microsoft to make users switch to Microsoft's products and services such as Outlook.com and Bing. In 2014, the campaign was abandoned and the Scroogled site now redirects to the Why Microsoft site.

History[edit]

Although Microsoft had released other promotional campaigns attacking Google before, the Scroogled campaign began in November 2012, attacking the Google Shopping service for its shift to a pay per click (PPC) model in which retailers are required to pay Google to have products listed, and are ranked in search results by their payments and relevance. The site suggested that users use Microsoft's competing Bing Shopping service instead, which had previously vowed not to shift to a PPC model.[1]

The next campaign in February 2013 incorporated elements of advocacy, attacking Gmail for using the contents of messages to generate targeted advertising, and recommending Outlook.com instead. The site also featured a survey of 1,000 users against the service's advertising practices, and a petition calling upon Google to stop engaging in the practice, [2]

In April 2013, Microsoft attacked Android, citing a recent allegation that Google Play Store had been, without disclosure, leaking basic personal information about users (including names, email addresses, and phone numbers) to application developers.[3][4]

In August 2013, alongside the launch of its Bing for Schools initiative, Microsoft argued that Google's use of advertising on search results pages in an educational environment could "distract [students] from their studies", unlike the ad-free version of Bing that can be enabled through the Bing for Schools program.[5]

In November 2013, Microsoft began to offer Scroogled merchandise through Microsoft Store, such as shirts and mugs featuring designs attacking Google's privacy practices.[6] That same month, Microsoft also released a Scroogled ad starring Rick Harrison in parody of his television series Pawn Stars, which saw Harrison rejecting a Chromebook at his pawn shop due to its reliance on web-based software, as opposed to a "traditional" computer with Windows and Office.[7]

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