Microsoft’s Latest Scroogled Target: Google’s “Gspam” Ads That Look Like Email

gspamMicrosoft has taken another shot at Google today with the latest push in its ongoing “Scroogled” campaign. This one? Another attack on Gmail.

Or, as Microsoft is calling it today, “Gspam.” That’s the term they’re using for those ads that look like emails in Gmail (which, last I recall hearing, was still a limited Google test). From today’s update on Scroogled.com:

Consumers should be able to trust their email provider to protect them from spam, but Google is doing just the opposite. Rather than protect you from spam, Google is reading your private email conversations and using what they find to push junk mail – that looks like real email – directly to your Gmail inbox.

Here’s how it works: Google is already going through every word of every Gmail message to target you with ads. Now when someone uses Gmail’s new interface, they’ll receive ads from Google which are sent directly into their Gmail inbox. They look like regular emails, with a sender, subject line, and bolded “unread” font, but they are definitely not – they are Gspam ads from Google.

Microsoft doesn’t mention that the ads only show in the “Promotions” tab of the new Gmail interface, nor that you can remove the Promotions tab entirely if you wish.

Today’s Scroogled update also includes data from a Microsoft survey conducted last week that surveyed a little more than 800 U.S. email users. Of that group, 89 percent disapprove “of advertisements being made to look like personal emails in your inbox.”

Microsoft launched the Scroogled campaign last November with attacks on Google’s pay-for-inclusion shopping results. The Gmail-oriented attacks have been going on since February. In the first week after that, we reported that Scroogled had won Microsoft only 0.002% of Gmail users.

(tip via ComputerWorld)

Related Topics: Channel: Industry | Email Marketing | Google: Critics | Google: Gmail | Google: Privacy | Legal: Privacy | Microsoft | Microsoft: Privacy | Microsoft: Scroogled | Top News

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About The Author: is Editor-In-Chief of Marketing Land. His news career includes time spent in TV, radio, and print journalism. His web career continues to include a small number of SEO and social media consulting clients, as well as regular speaking engagements at marketing events around the U.S. He recently launched a site dedicated to Google Glass called Glass Almanac and also blogs at Small Business Search Marketing. Matt can be found on Twitter at @MattMcGee and/or on Google Plus. You can read Matt's disclosures on his personal blog.

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  • jnffarrell1

    Negative, sand in the gears of the internet approach has worked for years. Microsoft has gotten twenty years of monopoly profits from sabotaging Netscape, Sun, and others who knew that a thin client and a robust internet made billions of bytes of code on any computer, other than servers or special purpose mainframes a waste of space.

    Scroogled is just Ballmer’s last stand. Old-boy PR tactics are out gunned by billions of bytes per second. Google Fiber is coming and that will multiply Google’s PR firepower by another factor of 100.

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