Should Subway have ever used Jared as its star spokesman?

In hindsight, it’s easy to question whether the sandwich chain should have ever tied its brand so closely to one person, who could and did become tarnished.

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The story of how Jared Fogle came to be the face of Subway is a fascinating one. According to Chip and Dan Heath’s superb “Made to Stick,” Jared’s path to becoming a sandwich pitchman began almost 16 years ago when a former dorm-mate of Jared’s wrote an article for the Indiana Daily Student.

A reporter at Men’s Health magazine, who was writing an article called “Crazy Diets That Work,” happened to see the Indiana Daily article about Jared, and he included a blurb about a “Subway sandwich diet.”

As the Heath brothers tell it, a Subway franchisee saw that blurb and “tracked down the creative director at Subway’s Chicago ad agency.” Subway’s marketing director turned down the Jared pitch as an advertising campaign, but the ad agency persisted and took a circuitous path to getting Jared on the air. His first ad appeared on January 1, 2000.

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