UK ad regulator allows Microsoft's "Scroogled" Pig Latin radio ad to be aired

It's been over a year since Microsoft began its "Scroogled" advertising campaign, attacking Google's stance on privacy on several fronts, including the Gmail service. Today, the regulator in change of advertising practices in the UK gave its thumbs-up to a Microsoft "Scroogled" radio ad despite formal complaints.

The Advertising Standards Authority stated today that the group got two complaints about the message, which begins with a character speaking some words in Pig Latin. Another person then says, "Pig Latin may be hard to understand, but you probably need it if you use Gmail, because Gmail scans every word of your e-mails to sell ads. But Outlook.com doesn't." The two complaints claimed that Microsoft also scans all Outlook.com emails.

In their decision, the ASA said that Microsoft's Outlook.com does scan all of its emails, but just for the purposes of finding any viruses or spam, rather than for ad generation as Google's Gmail does. It stated:

They (Microsoft) explained that this protective scanning was not mentioned in the ad because, unlike scanning to target advertising, scanning for viruses and spam was standard practice of which consumers were likely to be aware. Therefore, they considered that omission of this practice in the ad did not render it misleading.

The decision clears the way for the ad to continue its run in the UK so you may be hearing some Pig Latin coming from your car radio in that country soon.

Source: Advertising Standards Authority via WinBeta | Image via Microsoft

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It's not so private as you may think. Go do some advertisement on Google and see how much you can get to know about your user groups.
It isnt a home address or a full name, but it's close.

How? It's bringing privacy awareness. They are warning people of Google scanning emails for profit purposes. A lot of people don't know that. It's an awareness campaign.

Yeah its only okay if Google, Mozilla, Opera or Sun are on the front line throwing dirt about their competition.

And it worked, MS is far less aggressive and more 'philanthropist' now then they were 2 decades ago.

Google is in a similar fase of "Sky is the limit", except this time there is pretty much noone firing back. Mozilla always screamed at these kinda companies and their tactics but they are silent when it comes to Google.

MS is doing it now and from what I can see are keeping it quite honest and dirt free, just stating facts.

Shadowzz said,
Mozilla always screamed at these kinda companies and their tactics but they are silent when it comes to Google.
What else do you expect when Mozilla's in bed with Google?

j2006 said,
How? It's bringing privacy awareness. They are warning people of Google scanning emails for profit purposes. A lot of people don't know that. It's an awareness campaign.

There's absolutely no difference between Google scanning emails and Microsoft. They both do it. However, Microsoft neglects to mention that they also look at your emails.

simplezz said,

There's absolutely no difference between Google scanning emails and Microsoft. They both do it. However, Microsoft neglects to mention that they also look at your emails.

The difference is that Microsoft only does it to filter spam. Google scans it to filter for spam, but also scans it to target advertising for you.

rfirth said,

The difference is that Microsoft only does it to filter spam. Google scans it to filter for spam, but also scans it to target advertising for you.


MS also has automatic scans for child porn though :p

To be honest I don't understand the outrage. The Ad somply points out what is factually correct.

Google scans your email the better to serve ads. Microsoft doesn't. Yes, it's a computer doing the scanning, not a person, but Microsoft are still well within their rights to point out to people that their email is being used to profile them if they use Gmail.

And no, I don't believe for one second that it's somehow 'worse' with Microsoft. One criminal investigation does not give anyone a platform to claim that Microsoft are actually using real people to read your email. No evidence of this exists, claiming otherwise is conspiracy theorist nonsense.

Rallicat said,
One criminal investigation does not give anyone a platform to claim that Microsoft are actually using real people to read your email.
Especially when Google employees have done this too, and much worse besides, spying on chats, mails, Google Voice data etc. and targeting and harassing children with no justification of TOS violation or IP theft.

Rallicat said,
No evidence of this exists, claiming otherwise is conspiracy theorist nonsense.
Only people doing so are Google fanboys who cannot actually disprove the accusations and thus are desperate to fling some mud back at MS. Despite acting all holier-than-thou that they don't like such "misleading" ads they have no problem lying outright when it comes to giving back though.

Edited by Romero, Mar 26 2014, 8:11pm :

If you like google, you will continue to give up your privacy and personal information for their profit.
Simple as that.

MS is just pointing that out.
I like licensing fees over free if it means my digital profile isn't used to make someone else money.

deadonthefloor said,
If you like google, you will continue to give up your privacy and personal information for their profit.
Simple as that.
MS is just pointing that out.

Do you think that Bing isn't storing information about your searches and using that data to generate targeted advertising? Come on wake up. Search engines and free email services use advertising to pay the bills.

deadonthefloor said,

I like licensing fees over free if it means my digital profile isn't used to make someone else money.

What search engine has licence fees?

simplezz said,

Do you think that Bing isn't storing information about your searches and using that data to generate targeted advertising? Come on wake up. Search engines and free email services use advertising to pay the bills.

Yes, Bing probably stores information about your searches to generate targeted advertising... but that's different from scanning your emails.

simplezz said,

...

Microsoft's services have established information boundaries.
Google does not.

That's the campaign.

the fees are about mail services, not search engines.

deadonthefloor said,

Microsoft's services have established information boundaries.
Google does not.
That's the campaign.

Does that include sifting through user mail to find evidence of stolen IP? Haha.

If people are concerned about privacy there's nothing stopping them from using PGP or a paid secure email service. You won't get that by default with most free email services including outlook or gmail.

Enron said,
I just send my emails using ROT13 encryption.

I send mine with ROT26 encryption... it's super efficient...

Both encryption and decryption are O(1)!

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