Will a 'Jackass' boost Microsoft's image?

Valleywag says that Jonny Knoxville could be Microsoft's new spokesman in its forthcoming consumer ads. Redmond won't say.

Ina Fried Former Staff writer, CNET News
During her years at CNET News, Ina Fried changed beats several times, changed genders once, and covered both of the Pirates of Silicon Valley.
Ina Fried

Microsoft is looking to an expensive new consumer advertising campaign to help improve its image.

Valleywag posted a report on Friday suggesting that Johnny Knoxville of Jackass fame may be the pitchman behind the new spots.

A Microsoft representative declined to comment on whether Knoxville was indeed on tap to pitch the software maker.

"Microsoft is in the early stages of planning a consumer advertising campaign. We have no other details to share at this time," the company said in a statement. Microsoft has hired a new ad agency--Crispin Porter and Bogusky--for the assignment, which Ad Age estimated could be as high as $300 million, or perhaps higher.

Microsoft won't say how much it is spending, but it is clearly aiming to spruce up its image. If they needed more convincing, CoreBrand put out a study showing Microsoft's brand having dropped precipitously over the past two years, with the marketing firm saying that it believes Apple's "I'm a Mac" ads are partly responsible.