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Earlier this week it was announced that Subway, one of the fastest growing fast food chains in the country, is currently facing lawsuits over the size of their SUBWAY FOOTLONG sandwich. As crazy as it sounds, the whole chain of events started when people took to sites like Facebook and Twitter complaining about the sandwich’s 11-inch length (as apposed to 12), once again displaying the power of social media. Different factions of the franchise have dealt with the news in varying ways. In a statement given in The Chicago Tribune, Subway issued an apology to their customers, promising to ensure that “every Subway Footlong sandwich is 12 inches at each location worldwide.”
However, Subway Australia’s statement was a bit more pointed regarding the literally definition of a “foot long”:
“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.”
Is this lawsuit worthy? Opinions may vary on that. However, the bigger question regarding this case is whether or not it would have even happened in years past. Social media continues to be one of the greatest driving forces behind advertisers changing the way they interact with consumers. With opinions of others so readily accessible, the accountability of not only brand messages, but also products themselves, becomes vitally important. More accurate tools are being created with the purpose of making peer reviews easier to find, including Facebook’s recently announced Graph Search, making the ability for brands to deliver on promises very heavily scrutinized.