UK Regulator Allows Microsoft To Air Scroogled Radio Ad

For those unaware, Pig Latin is a language game where players alter English language words according to a simple (or not so simple) predefined set of rules. Looks it up.

It also recently featured in one of Microsoft’s newest Scroogled ad.

Now it has been more than a year since Redmond began the Scroogled advertising campaign against longtime rival Google, with the wickedly clear intention of attacking the search engine giant’s stance on privacy on a number of fronts — from Android apps to Gmail privacy, even shopping.

However, after the company ran its Pig Latin Scroogled radio ad, the regulatory body in charge of advertising practices in the UK received two formal complaints about the message.

And in a ruling stated earlier today, the Advertising Standards Authority revealed that the complaints claimed that Microsoft, too, scans all Outlook.com emails in order to sell ads. Here is the verdict:

“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 long and short of it is that the ASA understood that while Microsoft scans all of its emails, it does so for the purpose of finding viruses, spam, or any other such malicious links and contents — instead of, well, serving ads, as is the norm over at Gmail.

This decisions, then, clears the way for the ad to continue airing in the UK.

Please Leave Your Comments Below...

  • philnolan3d

    That’s pretty sad. I’ve always loved Microsoft but this is pretty underhanded.

    • Jake

      I agree with you. I don’t think this is a necessary. In my opinion, Microsoft just comes off as insecure and desperate. Attacking google won’t do them any good at this point.

  • Ray C

    I wish more people would realize or report just how Scroogled they’ve really been over the years