Subway restaurants is under fire after an Australian man posted a photo on the company's Facebook page of one of its footlong sandwiches next to a tape measure that shows the sub measuring up to 11 inches.
While Subway has had much success with their “$5 Footlong” promotion, more than 100,000 people have "liked" or commented on the photo, which is accompanied by the caption, “Subway pls respond.”
A New York Post investigation into the alleged false advertising has revealed that four out of seven footlong sandwiches were shy of the 12 inches that equals one foot.
An email statement from Subway, which is based in Milford, Conn., said that the length of its sandwiches may vary slightly when its bread, which is baked at each Subway location, is not made to the chain's exact specifications, the Associated Press reports
"We are reinforcing our policies and procedures in an effort to ensure our offerings are always consistent no matter which Subway restaurant you visit," read the statement, as cited by the AP.
The footlong sandwich has been a staple of Subway restaurants since the establishment opened its doors in 1965.
In 2008, the chain introduced the extremely successful $5 footlong promotion as he U.S. fell into the recession. Subway has kept the offer going even as the country recovers.
While the person responsible for the viral Facebook photo has not been able to be found, reactions to the 11-inch sub have been mixed.
As one commenter urged people to "chill out,” another insisted that she was taking her business to Subway’s longtime competitor, Quiznos. One man even posted a photo of his foot in a sock next to a Subway sandwich to show it was shorter than a "foot."
"I've never seen so many people in an uproar over an inch. Wow," read one Facebook post. "Let's all head to McDonald's and weigh a Quarter Pounder," suggested another poster.
The Subway photo is the latest in a string of backlashes to come as a result of people exposing companies via social media.
Last year, a Burger King employee tweeted with a picture of someone standing in sneakers on two tubs of uncovered lettuce. Domino's Pizza employees posted a video on YouTube of workers defacing a pizza in 2009. And a KitchenAid employee last year made a disparaging remark about President Obama using the official KitchenAid Twitter account.
The original photo is no longer visible on Subway's Facebook page, which has 19.8 million fans. A spokesman for Subway told the Associated Press that Subway did not remove the photo. Subway is the world's largest fast food chain with 38,000 locations.
My name is Carey Vanderborg and I'm a journalist working in New York City. I love food, travel, craft beer, live music and writing about all of the above.