Via PR Week:
The company said on Monday that it should have quickly acted on the complaint, but added it was not sexual in nature.
Subway expressed regret on Monday for not acting on a four-year-old complaint about former pitchman Jared Fogle.
Subway has denied any knowledge about the wrongdoings of Fogle, who agreed last month to plead guilty to child porn and sexual conduct with minors charges.
Its crisis communications has been short and to the point, with the company not apologizing for Fogle’s actions because they had nothing to do with the chain, a source close to the matter told PRWeek.
After ending its 15-year relationship with Fogle in August, the chain conducted an internal investigation into the allegations against him, extensively reviewing more than 1 million comments submitted to the company’s customer relations team. Subway also reviewed all available documents, and interviewed past and present company and franchisee advertising fund employees and management, a brand spokesperson told PRWeek.
“The investigation identified one complaint that was submitted via Subway’s website in 2011 that expressed concerns about [Fogle],” the spokesperson told PRWeek via email on Monday. “Although the complaint was serious, there was nothing that implied anything about sexual behavior or criminal activity involving [Fogle].”
The spokesperson added that Subway “regrets that this comment was not properly escalated or acted upon.”
The chain did not provide further information about the nature of the complaint or its comms strategy.