Short-measuring response fails to meet customer expectations

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 21st January 2013

Following Facebook backlash over Subway ‘Footlong’ subs failing to meet the advertised size, Subway Australia has issued a statement that the ‘Footlong’ is simply “a descriptive name.”

The Subway Australia statement was released on Friday after customers followed the lead of Perth customer Matt Corby by posting pictures of their Subway “Footlong” sub with a measuring tape, demonstrating that his sandwich was actually only 11 inches.

However, Subway Australia’s claim of the use of ‘Footlong’ as a “descriptive name only” may not stand up as a legal defence under Australia’s trade measurement regulations or under Australian Consumer Law regulations for advertising. Subway Australia’s claim could also be misleading or deceptive.

The Subway Australia statement appears to be at odds with the fact that the Company sells another product which is described as “Six Inches.”

“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 Subway spokesperson said.

“Subway Footlong®’ is a description of the sandwich only; length of the final baked product cannot be assured due to this natural baking process,” the spokesperson added.

Since the Subway Australia response, more consumers have taken to Facebook to post photos of the failed ‘natural baking process’ and their short “Footlong” subs.

The story has made international headlines including stories in the New York Post and the Wall Street Journal.  The New York Post tested “Footlong” subs in New York Subway stores, finding that only four of seven subs met the size requirements.

A Subway Australia"Footlong" that didn't quite measure up.