Jared Fogle was known as Subway’s main spokesperson from 2000 to 2015, but his tenure came to an immediate end when he was charged with paying for sex with minors and receiving child pornography earlier this year.
The “Dr. Phil Show” is airing secret recordings this week that show what a despicable person Jared really is. Kudos to former radio journalist Rochelle Herman-Walrond, who made the recordings and played a key role in bringing Fogle to justice. The recordings aren’t easy to listen to, but they clearly prove Fogle’s guilt.
While monitoring the news coverage of Fogel’s recordings, one item seemed to be overlooked by much of the media. Buried in the stories was a sentence that read, “In September, (Subway) said Hermand-Walrond made a serious complaint about Fogle in 2011, but that it had been mishandled.”
Excuse me, but shouldn’t this be a major part of the story? One of America’s leading fast-food restaurants had this guy as the face of their franchise for 15 years and then “mishandled” a rather serious complaint about him in 2011? How is this not a bigger story? Imagine if Subway had acted on the complaint when Herman-Walrond brought it to their attention via a former franchisee back in 2011? Who knows how many children would’ve been saved from his sick behavior? Instead, Fogle was allowed to victimize his targets for another four years. Four years!
Subway told the Associated Press that “it does not have a record of the complaints by the former franchisee about Fogle.” How convenient. The company also told the AP that it’s “investigating a second claim, made by a former journalist, that it was alerted to concerns about Fogle.”
To be sure, the powerful Subway PR machine has done a superb job of distancing itself from Fogle since the relevations. That part is understandable. It’s basic PR 101. Say you knew nothing, remove all references to Fogle from any marketing efforts, and move on. If only the victims and their families could do the same.
What is most frustrating — besides the abhorrent acts committed by Fogle, of course — is the way the media has largely given Subway a pass for their affiliation with this monster. Some media reports are almost sympathetic toward Subway, as if they are the victims of some awful bad luck. Hardly. Instead, increased focus should be turned toward Subway for its failure to properly investigate Fogel starting in 2011.
Subway kept putting Fogel out there as the face of their company for 15 years. Either they were completely oblivious to the character of their main spokesperson, or they just decided they didn’t want to know the truth about the guy. Either way, there should be more focus on Subway’s actions, starting now.