Starting today, we introduce a fun game that promises to last the entire summer. It’s called “Fantastic Gratuitous Ashes Promotional Tie-Ins!” (or, as we like to call it: FGAPT!)

Yes, we’ll be looking for the most shameless attempts to draw lines between the upcoming Ashes showdown and products, campaigns or other marketing campaigns that actually have very little to do with cricket.

Where better to start than former test fast bowler Merv Hughes, and p-nises!

Yes, in the 2006 Ashes series’ first attempt at a Pele-style campaign, Big Merv (pun intended) is lending “his face, his body and his support” to a new campaign designed to get Australian men talking about their health.

According to the press release, “Merv said he is excited at the prospect of being able to talk about ‘pecker problems and more’ in public.”

Oh boy. We bet he is. The release continues:

“Men make more jokes about that part of the body than any other, but the minute something goes wrong, that’s it, we shut up and don’t talk about it!” exclaimed Merv.

“Men’s health isn’t just about impotence and prostate cancer. … And a lot of men don’t know that lifestyle can also affect reproductive health,” he said.

“I lost 20 kilos on Celebrity Overhaul and my wife says I’m a changed man – so I know the importance of looking after your health.”

Congratulations Merv and the people behind this campaign. Getting a larger than life, genuine Australian team selector to talk about willies in September is a cracking start to our competition.

Crikey people, if you spot other Fantastic Gratuitous Ashes Promotional Tie-Ins (FGAPTs), make sure you let us know at [email protected].

Peter Fray

Fetch your first 12 weeks for $12

Here at Crikey, we saw a mighty surge in subscribers throughout 2020. Your support has been nothing short of amazing — we couldn’t have got through this year like no other without you, our readers.

If you haven’t joined us yet, fetch your first 12 weeks for $12 and start 2021 with the journalism you need to navigate whatever lies ahead.

Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey

JOIN NOW