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Turd Sandwich Drops Campaign Against Giant Douche


By Ken Magill

Microsoft is apparently winding down its despicable “scroogled” smear campaign against Google—at least the paid-media portion of it, anyway.

Launched in November, the television, newspaper and social-media campaign was aimed at convincing the public that Google is deceptive by failing to tell them its shopping search results are paid and that it scans Gmail accounts to serve hopefully relevant ads.

The campaign also included a petition at urging people to “Tell Google to stop going through your email to sell ads.”

“Google earns money by violating your privacy. They go through every word of your personal Gmail so they can target you with ads,” says the copy on

“Every word of every email. Even the most private ones, like messages about relationships, health care, finances, and more. Do you feel violated yet?”

As of yesterday afternoon, the petition had drawn 116,432 signatures. Wait: 116,432 signatures in response to an international, multimedia campaign by one of the largest companies in the world?

That’s pathetic.

Maybe if Microsoft would have used behaviorally targeted advertising they could have jacked that number up a little.

In any case, way to go, Microsoft. Just what the data-driven marketing industry needs: A smear campaign by one of its own designed to spread fear over a perfectly harmless advertising tactic that works, ie., creates jobs in an economy where we can sorely use them.

Microsoft is winding the campaign down apparently because it is satisfied it has inflicted enough damage.

“As the issue has jumped into the mainstream and is becoming more present in everyday Americans’ minds, the amount of paid media we need to run to raise awareness is decreasing,” Stefan Weitz, Microsoft’s senior director of online services reportedly wrote in an email to Search Engine land.

We are in a battle to save the greatest information and entertainment innovation in human history. And because it refuses to compete by building a better product, Microsoft has chosen to align with the enemy.

Thing is, Google sucks, too.

Remember, this is the company that has as its oh-so-precious motto “don’t be evil” as if it’s somehow morally superior to the rest of corporate America and what constitutes evil is something we can all agree on. Some would say secretly collecting wi-fi data including people’s passwords is evil. What a douche.

So in thinking of Microsoft versus Google I am reminded of my favorite episode of South Park: Turd Sandwich VS. Giant Douche, an episode that lampoons the American political system by pointing out that we generally vote by deciding who sucks less.

According to South Park, every American election is essentially a choice between a turd sandwich and a giant douche.

Except for in this case, we’ve got Yahoo!, right? So we don’t just have a choice between a turd sandwich and a giant douche. There’s a third company we can turn to.

Oh, yeah. Yahoo! is the company whose CEO, Marissa Mayer, banned telecommuting and had a nursery built in her office.

As the old saying goes, the fish stinks from the head down, so yes, we can label an entire company based on the actions of its CEO.

As a result, when it comes to search engines and webmail providers, we don’t just have a choice between a turd sandwich and a giant douche. We have a choice between a turd sandwich, a giant douche and an assclown.


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