When I asked if anyone would like to have a wager on how long it would take for Masterfoods, makers of the Mars bar, to abandon their bewildering decision to add liquidised cow's stomach to their chocolate, I didn't think it would be as quick as seven days.
What a humiliating climbdown. Boy did I laugh. Never more have I so wanted to say "I told you so" to someone's face.
There is still a nasty taste in my mouth, though, when I looked into the exact details of this story. I was always intrigued by the "principled decision" line...
It turns out that the Vegetarian Society had just contacted Masterfoods as part of a general enquiry about ingredients, and Masterfoods responded that they had already started adding rennet to their products at the beginning of May. What they meant by a "principled decision" was that they decided not to lie in their response to the Vegetarian Society, and their honesty should be respected.
Why are Masterfoods behaving like they should get a medal for not lying? Was lying one of the options they considered? Where were Masterfood's principles when they decided to start adding animal by-products to their products without telling anyone. Where was their respect for vegetarians, or Muslims, or simply people who don't like the idea of bits of dead animals in their chocolate bars?
Masterfoods have been quite rightly slapped down by the British public. I hope it inspires people to realise that corporations' wicked ways can be curbed by the power of public opinion. And I hope that heads roll at Masterfoods for the contemptuous way that they have treated their customers.