Gag Me with a Browser! What Was Redmond Thinking?

Microsoft has launched a new ad campaign for Internet Explorer that is either clever and slyly humorous, or obnoxious and snarky, depending on your point of view. But in one ad promoting IE 8's so-called porn mode, the software giant has crossed the line of bad taste --- by about three miles.

The ads feature onetime Superman actor Dean Cain as a parody of a smarmy pitchman, as well as variety of people using Internet Explorer 8 to solve their computing problems --- such as the desperate need to share too-cute Internet pictures of cats with other people. They're mildly amusing in a tongue-in-cheek sort of way, and are yet another example of Microsoft trying to change its image of a stodgy software company. The one below is my favorite.

But one ad that promotes IE 8's porn mode doesn't merely cross the line of bad taste --- it obliterates it. In it, a squeaky-clean young married couple sit at a kitchen table, and when the husband gets up to leave, the wife asks if she can use his laptop. She does, and obviously sees some kind of grotesque porn on the screen, and begins vomiting, first on the floor, and then on her husband.

I'm not making this up. If you don't believe me, check out the ad, below. (If you're squeamish, consider yourself warned.)

What was Microsoft thinking when it created this ad? Clearly, it wasn't. Porn and puke aren't the best way to burnish your company's image.

This story, "Gag Me with a Browser! What Was Redmond Thinking?" was originally published by Computerworld.

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