Ad Alert

Subway $5 Footlong SUBtember

Subway offers any regular footlong for $5 all "Subtember," but many sandwiches are excluded.

Ad Alert

Subway $5 Footlong SUBtember

A New Haven reader tipped us off to these ads from Subway Restaurants advertising $5 footlong sandwiches for all of September. Our reader bought a footlong sub from Subway only to discover his sandwich cost $7, not $5. It was possibly not a foot long either.

Here is the ad as we saw it outside a Subway in Madison, CT (click on each picture for a clearer image):

If you look closely, you can see that the ad says it’s $5 for any REGULAR footlong. The Sometimes termed “mouse print” or, more benignly, “disclosure language”, and presented in miniscule font. It is there to take back every enticing offer made in the ad. on the bottom left corner notes that “premium and supreme” subs are excluded. A look on Subway’s website reveals that any sandwich with avocado, steak or roast beef is going to be excluded from the promotion and cost more than $5.

We think this ad could easily mislead a consumer. The word “regular” in “$5 any regular footlong” is significantly smaller than the other words, such that the ad seems to read “$5 any footlong.” Is there a reason the word “regular” is significantly smaller, other than to create the wrong impression? Plus the fine print on the bottom, which notes which subs are excluded, is small and difficult to notice unless you walk right up to the advertisement. The television ads for SUBtember are no better, we’ll note:

The print ad may be less misleading should it look something like this:


Or if it simply read: “$5 FOR MOST FOOTLONG SUBS.” For more on fine print, check out here.

Our Ad Alerts are not just about false and deceptive marketing issues, but may also be about ads that, although not necessarily deceptive, should be viewed with caution. Ad Alerts can also be about single issues and may not include a comprehensive list of all marketing issues relating to the brand discussed.

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