Ryanair has engaged in a social media spat after Aer Lingus "photobombed" one of its ads, which led the rival airline to take to Twitter to gloat over its inadvertent inclusion.
The argument kicked off Thursday evening. The tone of Ryanair's tweets suggest short tempers and temporary amnesia have affected its "touchy-feely" approach to business and marketing communications.
The squabble commenced after Aer Lingus spotted one its airplanes in the background of a Ryanair ad, albeit with the Aer Lingus branding only apparent to the eagle-eyed.
Aer Lingus tweeted: "Epic #photobomb… on Ryanair’s website! Even they know we’re Best for Business."
But Ryanair, the budget airline fronted by fiery chief executive Michael O’Leary, which has recently promised to take a less combative approach to business, retorted: "Even @AerLingus is talking about @Ryanair" and, referring to the smiling man in the ad, wrote: "FYI, he’s smiling cos he saved a fortune & avoided another late @AerLingus arrival!"
The tweets escalated after a user asked if the airlines hated one another. Aer Lingus graciously described the relationship as a "healthy rivalry" and asked its competitor to agree, but Ryanair was quick to set the record straight.
Far less graciously, it tweeted: "We stopped being rival in the 90s @AerLingus… We’d have to treble our fares & lose 81m customers to be your rival."
Aer Lingus did not rise to Ryanair's levels of invective, and responded: "Okay, nevermind."
This story originally appeared on Marketing.