Service :MSN UK Complaints
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To whom it may concern,
I am writing to you to express my sadness and disgust at some of the advertising displayed on my Hotmail account. Namely, for cosmetic surgery and, in particular, that one where big brother losers (I mean that in the literal sense of the word, for now) endorse a particular cosmetic surgery (not improvement, not enhancement…) company to entice young women, such as myself, to mutilate their bodies.
I understand that you will need to create an advertising revenue, as Hotmail is a free service (for which I applaud you), I also understand that someone, somewhere will have produced a report claiming that targeted advertising will yield far better results than randomly generated adverts, which leads me to believe that I am being targeted because of the demographic to which I belong. I find this to be appalling.
If you think about why certain demographics are vulnerable to certain types of advertising, for example, young women are more vulnerable to these types of advertising because they have the highest rate of ‘body issues’, then surely you will see that to target them is immoral. Not to mention Microsoft being a well-respected multi-national corporation who, no doubt, is in tune with equal rights and has promoted many women to top, managerial roles and perhaps even to the board? In addition to the (perhaps more obvious) disgrace that is the cosmetic surgery industry and my being a target, how on earth is their credibility enhanced by the endorsement of Big Brother contestants?
Big brother is awash with talentless oiks who encourage us, as a nation, to celebrate mediocrity; to shirk responsibility, thirst for knowledge and the sense of working towards an achievement; to ridicule others for their idiosyncratic faults and to voyeuristically gape into their private lives and judge them by our own standards. [Please feel free to insert the alternative meaning of the word ‘losers’ at any time].
We know MSN to be part of the respected technology brand Microsoft, who have led the way in software, hardware and social media for some years now, it would be a real shame to see MS lose some of its respect in favour of the many other competitors out there who have a sense for what their customers want, not to mention superior algorithms for relevant advertising.
Which brings me to my next point. I have not have time to research your algorithm or policy for advertising selection, but I know that there are algorithms being used by your competitors to select keywords from emails in the account holder’s inbox to provide them with advertising for products which they are *likely* to find useful. I know you do not utilise these algorithms because all of my advertising has been for credit cards, loans and cosmetic surgery – all of which are so far outside of stratosphere of interest, I would be willing to bet I have *never* mentioned any of the three in an email or searched for any using your search engine. To reiterate, it would be a shame to see a company such as your fall by the wayside to superior technology.
While this may not all be relevant to MSN/Hotmail (you have no choice in the creative aspect of cosmetic surgery adverts, I presume), my specific feedback to you is with regards to the image you project to customers. With the cosmetic surgery (and credit card/loans advertisements) you are propagating what is a very serious and ubiquitous problem for young people these days (and in terms of the financial ‘solutions’, very irresponsible given the cause for the current recession).
I know that your profits more than doubled from £2.15 billion to £4.6 billion (yes, billion) in the most recent quarterly reports (yes, quarterly) which is obviously very impressive in a recession, but Microsoft is in a very lucky position compared to many other companies where they can afford to present the image they would like to customers in all aspects, including the adverts they *choose* to display.
In short, you should be leading the way and not falling foul to the temptation of the greed culture.
Of course, there is the chance that this particular advertising is not targeted at all and you show this type of advertising to everyone. In which case, I have said before, there is superior technology out there, you should investigate. I would be interested to hear your reply and would be willing to assist, as a customer, your quest for a successful product.