Today is Subway Sandwiches’ 50th birthday, but the beleaguered restaurant chain is facing yet another slap to the face. First, it was declining sales and then Jared Fogle’s sick proclivities were made public. Now, a former franchisee has come forward claiming that Subway’s advertising executives knew about Fogle’s perverted activities as early as 2008 because she told them. Not so happy birthday, Subway!
The franchisee, Cindy Mills, told the media that she contacted Subway execs to tell them about Fogle’s improper use of his six-inch sub. Her proof? Jared himself allegedly confided in Mills during their illicit sexual affair. According to Mills, Fogle was an open-faced sandwich, revealing his love of kiddie porn, road trips to molest children and sexual experiences with prostitutes in Thailand from ages 9 to 16.
Things got weird between Mills and Fogle, too. He allegedly asked her to hook him up with her underage cousin. His earlier confessions and this putrid request weren’t enough for Mills to run for the hills, though. The affair collapsed only after Fogle started applying pressure to Mills to pimp herself out for him on Craigslist.
Allegedly, Mills didn’t go to the authorities due to fear of Fogle’s power and money.
If Mills’ allegations are correct, Subway has a lot of questions to answer, such as why it condoned such disgusting behavior on the part of its longtime spokesman. If the allegations are proven false, Mills is just another parasite looking for her 15 minutes of fame.
Either way, Subway most certainly didn’t need this type of birthday present. The company has done everything possible to distance itself from its once-popular poster child, including severing all connections with Fogle. Despite these efforts, marketing experts assert that the company will still face a backlash, as consumers will automatically think of Fogle and his disgusting misdeeds every time the name “Subway” is mentioned. It could take a long time for that perception to fade.
Now, with Mills’ allegations, that perception may never fade. Even if Mills’ allegations are proven false, the public will still connect them to Subway, thus creating further negative perception.