Subway claims that ‘Footlong isn’t a measurement of length’
Embattled food chain Subway Australia has attempted to tackle the growing controversy over its “footlong” sandwiches not necessarily being 12 inches long by telling its customers that the name of the snack is not intended to be a description of its length.
The comments on Subway Australia’s Facebook page came after users began to post images of “Footlong” sandwiches that were not.
Subway Australia has responded to the controversy byclaiming that its use of the word “footlong” is not meant to refer to length. It posted on the Subway Australia Facebook page:
“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 furore has become an international story with the New York Post splashing with the story and even the Wall Street Journal covering it.
Perth teenager Matt Corby is reported to have been the first person to post an image.
The Australian Consumer Competition Commission was unaware of the issue when contacted by Mumbrella today but a spokeswoman said there were laws governing misleading advertising, and said consumers should make official complaints.
“The Australian consumer law prohibits conduct by businesses that is misleading or deceptive,” she said, adding her comments were general and were not specifically related to Subway.
“Whether the activities of a business raises concerns under these provisions depends on the circumstances in the case.
Enforcement of the law would aply if a breach was found.
“(Concerned) consumers should contact their local fair trading agencies or the ACCC.”
Meanwhile, a previous US ad for Subway, currently available on YouTube, tends to contradict the chain’s claim that it doesn’t link the word “Footlong” with length, featuring “1ft” hovering over the head of characters in the ad.
5pm update: Subway has issued the following media statement:
“Each Subway® restaurant freshly bakes bread in-store every day. We use bread forms that are approximately 30cm in length, however, due to the natural baking process, slight variations in the length of the final product can happen.
“’Subway Footlong®’ has been registered as a trademark and is a description of the sandwich only; length of the final baked product cannot be assured due to this natural baking process. We have policies and procedures in place to ensure that our products are consistent no matter which Subway® restaurant you visit.
“The photo of a Subway® sandwich that you referenced is not baked to our standards.
“We believe in this case that our procedures were unfortunately not followed.”