If you thought business software was a civilised industry characterised by elegant symposia and respectful coexistence, think again. US firm Netsuite launched a Transatlantic invasion on Wednesday with a newspaper attack ad against its rival Sage, depicting a tube-style map with the lines terminating at the Netsuite logo. The crushing tagline? 'All Sage lines end here'.
You could almost hear the readers gasping in horror.
Netsuite boss Zach Nelson then followed up with a rapid left, tweeting the ad to debutante Sage head Stephen Kelly.
'I hadn't realised, but it was his first day on the job,' he told CityAM. 'It's almost unfair, it feels a bit like bullying but we want to educate customers'.
Getting fight-tough in the notorious corridors of Whitehall, however, has left ex-civil-servant Kelly with a granite jaw. His counterpunch came barely 15 minutes later. 'Please mind the gap between rumours and reality,' he tweeted, along with another diagrammatic representation of Sage's technologies as tube lines. Take that, Netsuite.
Nelson rolled with it, smacking a swift uppercut. 'I liked his diagram more than mine to illustrate how Sage confuses its users,' he told CityAM.
Somebody better stop this fight, clearly, before someone gets hurt.