Microsoft Attacks Gmail’s Ad MessagesWritten by Michael Levanduski
August 11, 2013 # 6:16 pm # Industry News, Specials # 2 Comments
In the latest attack in Microsoft’s “Scroogled” campaign, they attack the advertisements which users of gMail will receive which look just like normal email messages. gMail has been scanning all the content of email messages to help them provide more targeted advertisements for quite some time. This is why, you’ll notice, that when you’re reading an email from your wife about what color she wants to paint the living room, you’re more likely to see advertisements from Home Depot or another home improvement location.
gMail has taken this common advertising technique to a whole new level since they implemented the tabbed inbox. gMail is now sending email messages to users which appear just like normal messages. They do show up in the ‘promotions’ tab, but other than that, they appear identical to a normal message from anyone else.
Microsoft has an updated attack ad on Scroogled.com which says the following:
Google violates your privacy by reading every single word of every single email sent to and from Gmail accounts so they can better target you with ads. Now, they’re going one step further over the line by using that same personal information to spam your inbox with ads that look like real emails.
Your email provider should protect you from spam, but Google is doing just the opposite; they’re reading your private email conversations and using what they find to push junk mail directly to your Gmail inbox.
They then go on to discuss how Microsoft’s free email service, Outlook.com, does not scan email messages at all, and certainly doesn’t send advertisements to their user’s inboxes. While Microsoft has long been trying to win a greater share of the email market, they have been relatively unsuccessful so far. Consumers are becoming less tolerant to invasions of privacy, however, so if Microsoft does a good job at getting this information out in front of Gmail users, it could be an effective campaign.
It is, however, difficult to get people to change something like this which they’ve been using for years. One thing Microsoft may have working for them right now, however, is the fact the recent ‘tabbed inbox’ which many people may not like. Some users may feel that if they have to get used to these changes in their Gmail box anyway, they should just move to the less intrusive Outlook.com service.
The move by Google to begin active email marketing campaigns is likely to upset many marketers as well. Google has the ability to gather information directly from the user’s private email messages, which will obviously give them a significant advantage in extremely targeted email marketing.
What do you think about Gmail’s email marketing tactics, and their invasion of privacy? Comment below with your thoughts of experiences on this matter.
You can see Microsoft’s ad on Scroogled.com.