Microsoft’s sleazy ad campaign against Google is no more, as the “Scroogled” website has quietly vanished.
As Winbeta points out, Scroogled.com now redirects to a new site called Why Microsoft. Instead of just bashing Google, the site tries to point out advantages of Microsoft enterprise services over competitors, including Google, Amazon and Cisco.
Meanwhile, the Scroogled section of Microsoft’s online store seems to have fallen into disrepair. Microsoft had previously sold Scroogled shirts and mugs with proceeds going to charity, but the page is now improperly formatted and lists no products to buy. (Apparently the merchandise was an ironic hit with Google employees.)
Microsoft launched the Scroogled ad campaign in late 2012, taking aim at Google Shopping’s pay-to-play system. The campaign went on to lambast targeted ads in Gmail, the limited functionality of Chromebooks, and the sharing of user contact data with Android app developers. While each of those issues is worthy of discussion, Microsoft’s tone came off as desperate and disrespectful of users’ own intelligence. And in the end, it’s unlikely that the campaign worked.
Mark Penn, the former Clinton aide who spearheaded the Scroogled effort, has nonetheless since been promoted from Microsoft’s head of advertising to the company’s Chief Strategy Officer.
Why this matters: Although Microsoft had already started to back away from Scroogled last year, redirecting to a new site is the final nail in this campaign’s coffin. The new site is a much better look for Microsoft, painting the company as a superior provider of productivity services rather than an underdog trying to drum up business through scare tactics.