Marmite raising a few eyebrows

Marketing Week readers may be interested in the following example of a brand myth (Diary, MW March 10) – one of many I collected recently during research for an article on urban myths and legends.

One urban myth currently circulating in northern England identifies Marmite as a powerful, if hitherto undiscovered, hair restorer.

Appreciable, sometimes spectacular regrowth is apparently said to result when this humble nursery staple is liberally and regularly applied to balding heads and left overnight.

Marmite’s efficacy as a restorative is ascribed by its many clandestine consumers to a rich mixture of essential vitamins, notably folic acid and thiamine. As with all classic urban myths, there is naturally not a hair of corroborative evidence to substantiate this highly dubious story.

As a further refinement, in Newcastle, those suspected of secretly benefiting from this savoury spread wonder cure are known – and publicly derided as – “Marmy Heads” and can easily be identified by curiously coloured ebony hair and a pervasive “tea time” odour.

Follically-challenged Marketing Week readers are strongly advised not to try this experiment in their own homes. Further examples of brand myths, all equally bizarre, can be provided from my files.

Johnathan Langley

High Wycombe


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