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Subway is Inches Short in Terms of PR
By: Shawn Paul Wood
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It was just a matter of time before this really happened, but hallowed sandwich franchisor Subway was actually taken to task for coming up inches short for its claim of "footlong subs." Well, one inch, to be exact. As reported by Bill Miltenberg of PR News via Business Insider, among others, Subway's Short Footlong is a PR mess

When an Australian Subway customer [Matt Corby...give the guy credit] decided to measure the length of his supposed footlong sandwich and discovered it was  only 11 inches, he did what any disgruntled customer would do: He took a photo of it and posted it on the company's Facebook page, along with the message "Subway, plse respond." [sic]

The Facebook post was flooded with angry customers demanding to know why the sub was short (it's now up to 131,000 likes, 3,900 shares, and 5,900 comments). 

Hey, it's a slow news day. Lance Armstrong and his steroid enterprise. Manti Te'o and his catfish girlfriend. Certainly, this will get headlines too. And it did. 

Ron Dicker at The Huffington Post received a statement from a Subway spokesperson about the mysterious missing inch. Here's what Subway had to say:
"As you know, all of our sandwiches are made to order, and our bread is baked daily in every one of our more than 38,000 restaurants in 100 countries worldwide. We have policies and procedures in place to ensure that our products are consistent and have the same great taste no matter which Subway restaurant you visit.

We have seen the photo you referenced of a Subway sandwich that looks like it doesn’t meet our standards. We always strive for our customers to have the most positive experience possible, and we believe this was an isolated case in which the bread preparation procedures were unfortunately not followed."
Subway's answer to crisis communications: Blame the franchisee and his or her crappy staff. You stay classy, Subway. I get it. That bread looks like my grandpa getting out of the pool anyway. Maybe it shrunk even more once toasted? Who knows. You can visit the Subway Facebook page to check the new numbers or new excuses. Unfortunately, Subway believes that comment was enough and they are sticking to the 12" claim. Anyone else demanding a 45-cent refund next time you saunter into your local submarine sammich establishment? This PR may create funnier things to happen. 

The moral of this story? MEMO to Subway: Size really does matter. (You're welcome.) 

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About the Author
Shawn Paul Wood is a hack-turned-flack with more than 20 years of collective journalism, copywriting and marketing communications experience. Shawn Paul is founder of Woodworks Communications in Dallas, Texas. If you need him, ping him here or follow him on Twitter @ShawnPaulWood
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