Vole thought that if people knew what was happening to their personal data they would rush to use Bing instead. The problem is that most users of Google are happy to let their personal data hit the streets.
Microsoft senior director of online services, Stefan Weitz, tried to put a brave face on for the campaign, saying that part of the public education programme was over.
The Scroogled website is still up, however, and Weitz’s remarks do not necessarily mean that Microsoft is abandoning the tagline and the message of the campaign altogether.
According to KQED, the idea first came up from an opinion poll by the Roper Center for Public Opinion Research that found seven out of ten didn’t “know that this practice of scanning emails was happening, and when they found out they didn’t like it”.
Weitz thought that by raising public awareness, Vole hoped to make people “hit that cognitive speed bump” and at least momentarily question their use of Google’s services.
In the end, it was fairly clear that getting people to pack in Google was like trying to get others to give up smoking.
Vole claims that the Scroogled campaign has sparked a dialogue that shows how much consumers care about their privacy, and how strongly they feel about Google combing through their personal emails to sell ads.
While the campaign was running, over 3.5 million people visited Scroogled.com, and over 114k signed a petition asking Google to stop going through their Gmail accounts.
Microsoft has promised that Scroogled will go on as long as Google keeps Scroogling people. Although we guess the days of expensive attack adverts have gone.