L'Ombre de l'Olivier

The Shadow of the Olive Tree

being the maunderings of an Englishman on the Côte d'Azur

26 July 2007 Blog Home : July 2007 : Permalink

Microsoft Ad Spam

It seems that Microsoft has combined with sitemeter to try and get traction on its Microsoft adCenter. I'm sure I was not the only person to recieve this:

Sign up For Microsoft adCenter account and get
-1 Year Free PREMIUM SiteMeter Account*
-$50 in Free clicks**
from Microsoft adCenter

SiteMeter Microsoft adCenter Re-Launch Promo Special
Why Microsoft adCenter?
-Search Advertising with adCenter is an effective low-cost way to reach out to millions of potential customers.
-It only requires $5 to open an account** and begin targeting search engine users who are looking for sites like yours.
-The wise search marketer uses more than one search engine in his or her marketing tool bag.
Combining SiteMeter with Microsoft adCenter

One of the benefits of a FREE PREMIUM SiteMeter account is you'll have another tangible method for tracking your Microsoft adCenter campaigns. While adCenter tracks the number of impressions and clicks your campaign is generating SiteMeter can tell you:
-When your adCenter traffic arrives
-Where they come from
-How long they are staying
And with a FREE PREMIUM account you can even tell which pages they visited within your site.
Hurry! Sign up today... offer expires July 31st, 2007. Visit http://www.sitemeter.com/?a=signupoptions to upgrade to a Free SiteMeter PREMIUM account and sign up for Microsoft adCenter.
*Please allow 2-4 weeks for your SiteMeter account to be updated.
- If you are currently a monthly paid subscriber your current billing will resume following your free 12 month period.
- If you are an annual subscriber any payment made during 2007 will be fully refunded. Future payments will resume following your free 12 month period.
**Offer valid only through July 31st, 2007 (midnight Pacific Time), while supplies last. Promotional credit is valid only for new advertisers opening a new account with Microsoft adCenter. The $50 promotional credit does not apply to the one-time, nonrefundable $5 activation fee required to open a new account. Promotional credit not redeemed in click spend will expire 90 days after sign-up. Advertisers will be charged for advertising that exceeds the $50 promotional credit. Advertisers will need to suspend their ads if they do not wish to receive additional charges beyond the free credit amount or for clicks 90 days after sign-up, whichever occurs first. Promotional credit good only to residents in the 50 United States and Washington, D.C. Limit: one promotional credit per customer. Promotional credit may not be combined with any other offer or discount, separated, redeemed for cash, transferred, sold, or bartered. There is a minimum bid requirement of $0.05 per click through. Search listings are subject to editorial review. See Microsoft adCenter Terms and Conditions for more details at sign-up. Other terms and conditions may apply.

This is obviously intended to be a competition for Google's Adsense but it is also clear that they know that they aren't the market leader right now because they say "The wise search marketer uses more than one search engine". In other words don't just do google stick with us too.

There are however a few problems with this email. Firstly it looks like SPAM. The actual email has a plain text and a HTML section and hte HTML section is basically a bunch of images:
<table width=3D"600" height=3D"1280" cellspacing=3D"0" cellpadding=3D"0" bo=
rder=3D"0" id=3D"Table_01">
<td><a href=3D"http://caliberconnect.sitemeter.com/lt/t_go.php?=
=3Dsignupoptions"><img width=3D"600" vspace=3D"0" hspace=3D"0" height=3D"20=
4" border=3D"0" src=3D"http://caliberconnect.sitemeter.com/images/Image/ebl=
ast-sitemeter_ver2.jpg" alt=3D"" /></a><br />
<img width=3D"600" vspace=3D"0" hspace=3D"0" height=3D"206" border=3D"0"=
er2-02.jpg" alt=3D"" /><br />
<img width=3D"600" vspace=3D"0" hspace=3D"0" height=3D"307" border=3D"=
0" src=3D"http://caliberconnect.sitemeter.com/images/Image/eblast-sitemeter=
_ver2-03.jpg" alt=3D"" /><br />
<a href=3D"http://caliberconnect.sitemeter.com/lt/t_go.php?i=3D79&e=
poptions"><img width=3D"600" vspace=3D"0" hspace=3D"0" height=3D"185" borde=
r=3D"0" src=3D"http://caliberconnect.sitemeter.com/images/Image/eblast-site=
meter_ver2-04.jpg" alt=3D"" /></a><br />
<a href=3D"http://caliberconnect.sitemeter.com/lt/t_go.php?i=3D79&=
e=3DZnJhbmNpcy50dXJuZXJAZ21haWwuY29t&l=3Dhttp://www.sitemeter.com"><img wid=
th=3D"600" vspace=3D"0" hspace=3D"0" height=3D"40" border=3D"0" src=3D"http=
://caliberconnect.sitemeter.com/images/Image/eblast-sitemeter_ver2.gif" alt=
=3D"" /></a><br />
<img width=3D"600" vspace=3D"0" hspace=3D"0" height=3D"78" borde=
r=3D"0" src=3D"http://caliberconnect.sitemeter.com/images/Image/eblast-site=
meter_ver2-06.gif" alt=3D"" /><br />
<img width=3D"600" vspace=3D"0" hspace=3D"0" height=3D"120" bo=
rder=3D"0" src=3D"http://caliberconnect.sitemeter.com/images/Image/eblast-s=
itemeter_ver2-07.gif" alt=3D"" /><br />
<img vspace=3D"0" hspace=3D"0" border=3D"0" src=3D"http://ca=
liberconnect.sitemeter.com/images/Image/eblast-sitemeter_ver2-08.gif" alt=
=3D"" /></td>
This is quite similar to how all the stock spammers send their stuff (although it is true that the stock spammers tend to include the image in the HTML)  which means that I very nearly missed it. I would guess quite a few people will be like me.

As if that were not bad enough there is this part of the small print "Offer valid only through July 31st, 2007 (midnight Pacific Time), while supplies last." Supplies? Supplies of what? electrons? or do they mean that only the first N people to sign up get the benefits? Oh and you get to pay $5 to advertise for $50 worht of clicks or 3 months, whichever comes first. Problem here being that I have nothing I want to advertise - in common I guess with many other bloggers.

If I were part of the Googleplex I'd be cranking up the Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
You don't frighten us, Microsoft pig-dogs! Go and boil your bottom, sons of a silly person. I blow my nose at you, so-called Gates Bill, you and all your silly Mickkkk rosofties. Thpppppt! Thppt! Thppt!