Why the Subway Scandal is Proving to Be an Excellent Lesson in Advertising

by Doug Zanes | Last Updated: September 17, 2015

For anyone buried in their life’s work…

Or their children’s lives…

Or just busy in general…

Or if you live under a rock without internet…

We will make the Subway scandal short and sweet for you:

Subway’s long-standing celebrity spokesperson, Jared Fogle. Jared has plead guilty to federal child pornography charges and illicit sexual conduct with minors.

As you can imagine, it was not a pretty media onset for either Fogle or Subway as a whole…

Yes, of course ties were cut with their not so celebrity Fogle but this raised an excellent question by attorney, Ken Hardison on TV advertising:

“Should I go on camera myself or hire a spokesperson or better yet, should I hire a celebrity spokesperson?”

And Hardison says that it all depends on these factors and their corollary questions:

Do you want to:

  1. Be your own spokesperson,
  2. Use a spokesperson or
  3. Use a celebrity spokesperson

And the questions you should be asking are:

  1. Am I comfortable in front of a camera?
  2. Do I mind being a local celebrity and giving up my privacy?
  3. Do I have a face for radio? OR Do I come across as honest and approachable on television?
  4. Can I really afford a spokesperson (it’s not that expensive, by the way) or better yet, a celebrity spokesperson (very expensive)
  5. What will be my contingency plan should a ‘Jared’ Subway-type incident happen?

We think Hardison is SPOT on with these questions and we think they are essential to answer when deciding on TV advertisement…


Because A LOT of time and money goes into the production of such advertisements and while celebrity endorsements do work, there are great risks involved…as there are with finding a spokesperson (remember Fogle was NOT a celebrity when starting out with Subway).

Our spokesperson and representative image of the firm has always been someone within the firm…

What’s your take on it, business owners and advertisers?

Doug Zanes: Founding Attorney Raised in Douglas, Arizona, and went to college at Arizona State University and graduated from law school at St. Mary’s University School of Law in Texas. Doug began practicing law in Phoenix Arizona in 1997.
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