Subway Manages Its Worst-Case Scenario With a Single Tweet

Subway on Tuesday officially cut ties with Jared Fogle, the company's longtime spokesman. Best known simply as “Jared from Subway,” the 37-year-old is expected to enter a guilty plea Wednesday on charges related to possession of child pornography, according to CNN.

In early July, authorities raided Fogle’s Indiana home in connection with the arrest of a former Jared Foundation executive director on federal child pornography charges.  At the time of the raid, the Subway spokesman was not arrested or charged with a crime.

Following the raid, however, Subway moved quickly to suspend its relationship with Fogle. And once again, Subway acted fast in responding to this latest development in the criminal case against the brand’s most familiar face.

The sandwich chain released identical posts to Twitter and Facebook late Tuesday night that announced the end of the company’s relationship with Fogle and declined to comment further on the situation.

In closing the brand’s most embarrassing chapter, the Fogle criminal case starkly exposes the risk companies take when aligning themselves with an individual, especially one that was culled from obscurity and woven into the very fabric of the brand, as was the case during Fogle’s 15-year relationship with Subway. Fogle’s name is so synonymous with the brand that Subway didn’t need to mention his last name in the above tweet.

If nothing else, the rise and fall of Jared from Subway proves that vetting brand ambassadors can only go so far, and companies should be wary of placing the weight of their brand on a single set of shoulders.

Follow Mark Renfree: @MarkRenfree

  • Tom Sofio

    I’m sure this was discussed, but shouldn’t they have added one more sentence that that supports victims or condemns alleged purpetrators of this form of sexual abuse?

    • Ranee Randby

      I think that goes without saying.

    • TexasRick8444

      It would be a meaningless, clichéd statement that says the obvious. Like, “I believe the children are our future” Duh! You think?

    • http://www.wrightpartnerspr.com Jeff Wright

      Given how society reads nowadays it is best to keep the message direct and clear.

  • Alison Carville

    I’m all for “behind closed doors” quick removal of a spokesperson in this situation, but publicly on social media, I would have followed up with an action plan that a) tells their audience they will take more caution in creating new relationships with brand ambassadors, b) condemns their former brand ambassador’s actions, but not him personally, and c) seeks to move forward, and reassures their consumers that the product/business will still have the same quality without this particular person.

  • TexasRick8444

    What more can you say? “It is not Subway’s policy to hire child molesters and kiddie porn traffickers”? Not everything that happens in our society today needs to be analyzed ad nauseum with experts on CNN and treated like it’s an earth-shattering event to be promoted and given it’s own clever title like some short-lived mini series. Some things speak for themselves. Despite their best efforts, and through no fault of their own companies do hire spokespersons from time to time that behave badly or do illegal things. When you’re dealing with human beings it’s impossible to know if a representative, even one with a sterling reputation, may one day that embarrasses the company. I didn’t eat at Subway because of Jared and I won’t stop eating there because of Jared.

  • DIE_BankofAmerica_PHUKKING_DIE

    Here’s what Subway should have said:
    “Subway joins everyone in the world who hopes that the criminally insane pederast known as Jared will end his life in a maximum security penitentiary, chained to a pipe in a shower being raped to death by neonazi cannibal serial killers.”