Misery for one food brand has yielded tasty earned media coverage and consumer respect for another.

Even while negative backlash continued to build against anti-gay remarks from the chairman of the pasta company Barilla, the competing Bertolli brand has hit back in a classy and humorous way.

Visitors to the Bertolli Facebook page were treated to an illustration of same-sex pasta enjoying each other’s company over a steaming bowl of red sauce.

We love the playful way bowtie pasta signified women and penne pasta… well you get the gist.

The Bertolli ad was a crowd favorite on Twitter, scoring more than 22-hundred mentions over the past week.

The pasta brand’s quick response to its competitor’s mistake also caught the attention of mainstream media, including advertising trade publications and business and political sites.

TV stations in Indianapolis, San Antonio and Dallas carried the story too.

Newsjacking is a meal best served hot.  Bertolli gets four stars for their efforts.

Insights provided by Critical Mention media monitoring service