Mozilla yanks its gauche anti-Internet Explorer campaign

Apparently open sourcerors have no clue how to market

It's often said that open-source companies spend a lot less money on sales and marketing. Apparently this translates into not knowing how to spend it well when we do spend money, as Mozilla's recent bout with marketing demonstrates.

Mozilla's "Firefox Users against Boredom" campaign was meant to be funny. Kind of like Apple's Mac vs. PC ads. But it wasn't.

I, personally, wasn't offended by its tongue-in-cheek implications that Internet Explorer causes cancer and such. I just found them dumb and ineffective. It's also surprising to me that with so much going for it Mozilla felt the need to market directly against Internet Explorer in the first place. It was like an attack ad used by political candidates. You market like this when you're losing.

Regardless, Mozilla has apologized and is revamping the campaign. Fine. But given its progress against Internet Explorer, it should consider investing that money in further progress. That is, research and development, not silly marketing campaigns.

Tech Culture
About the author

    Matt Asay is chief operating officer at Canonical, the company behind the Ubuntu Linux operating system. Prior to Canonical, Matt was general manager of the Americas division and vice president of business development at Alfresco, an open-source applications company. Matt brings a decade of in-the-trenches open-source business and legal experience to The Open Road, with an emphasis on emerging open-source business strategies and opportunities. He is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not an employee of CNET. You can follow Matt on Twitter @mjasay.


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