Now before I get into the crisis response from Subway, I have a funny side note. At UW-Green Bay part of our communications curriculum is to complete a class called crisis and reputation management. For our final project we are given a fake (read FAKE) crisis for a company that we represent. My team and I were representing Subway, and had a plan for if Jared Fogle got accused of having child pornography. (Our plan was pretty similar FYI)
Anyway back to the actual situation. Fogle actually hasn't been accused of anything, it's the man that runs his foundation. Subway was appropriately cautious however and separated themselves from Fogle immediately.
Fogle has even been said to have agreed with the decision.
After completely the mock crisis situation, I have to agree with Subway's plan. Instead of defending Jared and their choice, they immediately took themselves out of the running. The only reason Jared is even famous is because of Subway. For a brand that is losing credibility because of blogger accusations, bad employee press and franchise abuse this is not helping their reputation.
Could Subway and Fogle ever repair his relationship? Probably not. Fogle will always have the stigma of child pornography. It's unfortunate, because Fogle was a huge brand booster for Subway. He increased their sales drastically as well as expanded the restaurant to over 110 countries.
How do you think Subway handled the crisis? What would you have done?Will you still eat at Subway?