Published on: January 21, 2013by Kevin Coupe
When is a foot not 12 inches long?
Apparently when it is used to measure bread at Subway, the sandwich chain.
The company currently finds itself in the middle of a controversy, created when an Australian teenager ordered one of Subway's "footlong" submarine sandwiches, and then pulled out a tape measure to see if it was, indeed, 12 inches long.
Which it wasn't.
It was just 11 inches long. The teen took a picture, posted it online, and the debate went viral, with pictures and measurements being posted online from Subways all over the world.
Now, Subway's response has been muddled, to say the least. First, it said the problem was just Australian, and it blamed the metric system. Then, it said that "footlong" was just a creative term not meant to represent an actual measurement (even though it has had commercials specifically referencing the length of a footlong sandwich).
What a crock.
This is the kind of stuff that makes me nuts.
If you say something is a "footlong," the damned thing ought to be what you say it is. Dissembling, excusing, rationalizing ... all these things manage to do is show that you're pretty good at not telling the truth.
It cannot be that tough to make a 12-inch roll as opposed to an 11-inch roll. Subway should have made sure that its footlong subs were actually a foot long, and then, when caught an inch short, should have copped a plea. It might even have been able to use the moment to create a new marketing campaign, maybe around a new 13-inch footlong sub.
But no, that's not what it has done.
Life ought to be simple. Say what you are going to do, and do what you say. Be specific, be accurate, be transparent. And be aware that if you do not do these things, you may be exposed on the internet and held up to ridicule, which could damage your brand.
- KC's View: