02/07/2013 03:45 pm ET

Microsoft's New Google Attack Ad Tells Users Not To Get "Scroogled"

Microsoft wants to keep you from getting "scroogled."

Determined to wrestle the title of top email provider from Gmail, Microsoft is directly attacking Google in new commercials for its Outlook service. In the ads, Microsoft warns that Gmail reads through emails to create targeted ads -- which Microsoft declares an invasion of privacy -- and cautions people to avoid being "scroogled" by Gmail and switch to Microsoft Outlook.

Google has been going through everyone's emails for a long time.

On the company's "Scroogled" website, Microsoft describes how Google's Gmail service scans through users' sent and received email messages to display targeted ads.

It's not as if Outlook isn't also looking into your mailbox -- Microsoft just doesn't use the information in it to sell ads. Outlook still "scans the contents of your email to help protect you and display, categorize, and sort your mail appropriately," the company says on its "Scroogled" site.

Microsoft's search engine, Bing, has also targeted Google in commercials, asking people to take the "Bing challenge" and decide for themselves if they prefer results from Bing or Google.

Microsoft used the same term, "Scroogled," in the company's holiday ads for Bing last year. In those ads, Microsoft attacked Google's search practices, warning viewers not to get "Scroogled."

Some users on Twitter are using the Microsoft hashtag #Scroogled to speak negatively about the company, rather than to complain about Gmail as intended.

The campaign's "Scroogled" Facebook page has 76 "likes" as of Thursday afternoon.



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