Iconic Australian food spread Vegemite had put out a full page ad in an English tabloid mocking both its British rival Marmite as well as the English cricket team after the producers of the latter product decided to give away free jars of it during the first Ashes Test at Edgbaston.
It was only a matter of time before a response was to arrive from Marmite's side. It eventually did in the form of another full page ad where, in fewer words, the British company delivered a hard-hitting riposte to the sharp comments by their adversaries.
In the original ad that triggered off this war of words, Vegemite had written:
News has reached us down under that free jars of Marmite are being handed out at the Ashes to try to prove it tastes better than our Vegemite. Are you guys Barmy? Of course the refined English palate will prefer yours. You see, Vegemite is a far stronger taste, made of resilience and fortitude with a dash of cunning and guile.
"Vegemite tastes like back-to-back tons on your return Test. Vegemite taste like a come-from-behind victory by 251 runs. You lot won't like the taste of Vegemite. Because Vegemite tastes like Australia. Catch ya at Lord's."
This ad was published in the Daily Mirror. Marmite decided to respond in the same newspaper using the same full page format. Their ad read:
"We might not taste like Australia, but love it or hate it, we won't be tampering with it. See you at the Home of cricket. #MarmyArmy."
The reference to the ball-tampering scandal is really hard-hitting as it is one thing to which the Aussies can have no response. In fact, all through the English summer, Australian teams and especially, the players involved in that scandal have faced the wrath of the English fans who have attacked and ridiculed them with many ingenious gestures. Whether it is waving sandpapers when anyone of these players comes out to bat or constantly booing them, the crowds have been ruthless in their treatment of the visitors.
Now, Marmite has also jumped on the board to contribute its two penny worth of humour on this subject. It is these kind of side-shows and battles that make the Ashes series different. This time, with the sandpaper-gate incident in the background, there is an even sharper edge to this series. No wonder, even the manufacturers of food pastes have got into the act of taking pot-shots at each other.