australia, Bread, bread baking, buzzfeed, eleven inches, Facebook, false advertising, foot long, footlong, matt corby, napkin controversy, new york post, perth, sandwich, sub sandwich, Subway, subway commercial, Subway Restaurant, tape measure, viral photo
Diatribe: Subway Restaurants … Where A Foot Doesn’t Always Equal Twelve Inches.
I like a good sandwich as much as the next person. I also like a “cheap lunch” … so, I’ve been known to eat at a Subway Restaurant. I’ve never understood their peculiar napkin policy but I’ve always found Subway to be one fast-food restaurant that can be relied on to be consistent in quality from one location to another.
Since finding itself in the middle of an “eleven inch controversy” last Wednesday, Subway has responded to claims that its Footlong sandwich is one inch too short by explaining that “Footlong” is only a name and not a measurement. Last Tuesday Matt Corby of Perth, Australia, took a photo of his sandwich beside a tape measure. The photo showed that his Footlong sandwich was clearly eleven inches long. He posted the photo on Subway Australia’s Facebook page request “subway pls respond”.
Their response alleged that “footlong” is merely creative license and does not designate measurement.
“With regards to the size of the bread and calling it a footlong, ‘SUBWAY FOOTLONG’ is a registered trademark as a descriptive name for the sub sold in Subway® Restaurants and not intended to be a measurement of length. The length of the bread baked in the restaurant cannot be assured each time as the proofing process may vary slightly each time in the restaurant.” – Subway Australia Facebook via BuzzFeed
The Subway Australia Facebook post has since been deleted.
The following 2008 commercial clearly references the measurement of the sandwich.
Subway elaborated on the unusual explanation by insisting that “Most countries, such as Australia, follow the metric system so the term Footlong can only be used as part of a trademark.” Really? Even in countries that use the Metric system, a “foot” still equals twelve inches.
After Corby’s photo went viral, Subway customers from around the world shared more photos to prove that their sandwiches also came up short. As many as four out of seven Footlongs purchased by the New York Post in the NYC region were found to measure only 11 or 11.5 inches in length.
Of course, I usually have no tolerance for false advertising but in this situation I’m perplexed. There are 38,181 Subway restaurants in ninety-nine countries around the world each baking its own bread and my limited experience with bread baking has led to an understanding that bread dough rises with a seeming will of its own.
That being said, I won’t be surprised if Subway begins using a modified disclaimer in their advertisements as a result of this week’s controversy.
What do you think? Does that last inch really matter?
UPDATE 01/23/13 – New Jersey men sue Subway for selling them short sandwiches.
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