Google (GOOG) executives can rest easier at night — Microsoft (MSFT) is calling off its “Scroogled” ad campaign. KQED reported late last week that Microsoft “has stopped buying the controversial Scroogled ads on television, in newspapers, and social media,” and Microsoft senior director of online services Stefan Weitz told KQED that the massive ad buys are “about finished.” Microsoft last month unveiled plans to spend a seven-figure sum on advertisements aimed at convincing people that Google’s Gmail was too scary to use — the company has gone on the warpath against Google while trying to bolster the profiles of both its Outlook.com web mail service and its Bing search engine. So far, though, there has been little evidence that Microsoft’s public relations blitz has indeed scared any longtime Google users into switching to Microsoft’s line of services.
UPDATE: Microsoft checks in to say that it has not entirely halted its “Scrooggled” campaign and that it plans to keep educating consumers on all the ways the world’s No. 1 search engine is “Scroogling” them.
“The Scroogled campaign has sparked a dialogue that shows how much consumers care about their privacy, and how strongly they feel about the fact that Google goes through their personal emails to sell ads,” the company says. “More than 3.5 million people visited Scroogled.com, and over 114k signed a petition asking Google to stop going through their Gmail. While the ad portion of this phase of the consumer education campaign has finished its scheduled run, this important conversation about privacy continues, and so does this important consumer choice.”