Blogger Changes Food Chain’s Discrimination Policy, Forces Franchisee to Retract Yes on 8 Donation

Subway, the popular sandwich chain, responded to demands by blogger Mike Rogers that they redress a Yes on 8 contribution one of their franchisee’s made today.

Rogers sent a letter to the company making three demands: That it repudiate the gift, that it add sexual orientation and gender identity to the corporation’s non-discrimination policy and that it give an equal gift to the opposing side.

Though he did not disclose the name of the company initially, he publicly threatened a boycott and gave Subway a deadline to respond– which it did. The company rewrote their affirmative action policy to include “sexual orientation and gender identity” and sent a letter to the franchisee which states:

It has been brought to the attention of [Subway’s parent company] Doctor’s Associates Inc. (“DAI”) that you have made a contribution to a politically oriented organization. It is our understanding that you intended this solely as a personal contribution and that you were not intending to make any representation on the part of the SUBWAY brand. You have represented to us that your bookkeeper inadvertently used one of your business accounts that included the trademark to make the actual contribution.

While we understand that as an individual you have a right to your personal beliefs and freedom of association, when you use the SUBWAY trademark it reflects on the entire SUBWAY brand. As you are aware the trademark “SUBWAY” is owned by DAI and DAI strictly limits that the trademark only be used in accordance with DAI’s policies in connection with advertising your franchised restaurant for
business as a branded SUBWAY restaurant. You should also be aware that your franchise agreement prohibits your use of the SUBWAY trademark as part of your business or corporate name. Further, it states that you agree to “…not use the Trademark in a manner that degrades, diminishes, or detracts from the goodwill of the business associated with the Trademark” and “to promptly change the manner of such use if requested to do so by us.”

Therefore, DAI is currently advising all franchisees that it is DAI’s policy that the trademark may not be used by any franchisee in connection with any personal political stance adopted by a franchisee.

The company also directed the franchisee to ask for a refund of the contribution made to the Yes on 8 campaign.

That’s how you do a boycott, people.

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  • EdWoody

    What about the fact that they fired that guy for doing gay porn? Have they come down on that?

  • john

    lets keep our focus here people, the gay porn thing is another story. DAI and their Subway brand did the right thing. I’m glad they asked that the donation be refunded, good job Mike Rogers!

  • Bruno


  • Otto

    Suddenly I’m in the mood for a Subway sandwich!

  • Adam

    Finally, a business taking swift and aggressive steps to combat homophobia.
    Good one, Subway. I will keep on eating your footlongs.

  • Jim

    What about El Polo – they claim it was one franchise that donated – I can’t confirm that. Anyone know?

  • Sam

    Taco Bell franchise in Marina CA gave $5000.

  • jeffrey bryan

    I’m going to Subway for dinner.

  • Charles J. Mueller

    Bravo, Mike Rogers. Apparently, writing letters does bring responses.

  • Victor Hermosillo

    Let’s see the whole language of Subway’s new anti-discrimination policy. I am constantly reminded of how Apple once phrased theirs as “will not *illegally* discriminate based on….”, meaning that they were free to discriminate at any jobsite where it was legal locally.

  • james ii

    way to go! one person did this! amazing. who needs freakin’ HRC?

  • MCnNYC

    Hey JAMES II

    Can i tell you how IRONIC you are…I mean “who NEEDS freakin HRC”? right….well funny thing…Mike Rogers..the hero of this post…

    “Rogers found the contribution on a list of Yes on 8 contributors compiled by the Human Rights Campaign. “When I saw a franchisee of an international company gave $2,500 to opponents of equality, I immediately knew I would require someone at the company’s world HQ to address this.”

    But that’s cool…we still needed ONE person to use the tools that HRC posted last Fri and guess what ONE person did make a difference. Yeah Mike Rogers!

  • tijuana

    Well we should start a ban and protest on Mormon owned products such as Pepsi and Frito Lays. If I am not mistaken these hypocrites own these brands. well i used to work for pepsico that’s why i know. BAN PEPSICO AND FRITOLAYS!!!

  • Jeffrey Bryan

    @tijuana: I disagree… I don’t believe boycotting any Mormon-owned companies is the answer. Now, if it turns out that the primary stakeholders of those companies donated to Yes on 8, then that’s a different story. A lot of Mormons voted No on 8. Protest Yes on 8 supporters, protest the Mormon Church as an institution… but don’t make the mistake of stereotyping all Mormons.

  • Bruno

    @Jeffrey Bryan:

    In general I agree, though I still think a conglomeration that’s SO Mormon-oriented in its hiring, such as Marriott, will never see my business. I’m just not comfortable with that anymore.

  • dfrw

    tijuana, you’re wrong about Pepsico. PEPSICO gave money to PFLAG. Please check your facts before posting something that you think is true when it in fact, may not be true.

  • Willie Hewes

    Hell to the yes!

    Mike Rogers. Hero of the week.


    Let’s get some pix of Mike Rogers for tomorrow’s Morning Goods!

  • Franchise Pick

    The cause might be right, but the tactics are stupid in many of the instances you cite.

    Correct me if I’m wrong, I’ll listen:

  • michael

    gay money is big money we all know . we can speak loud when boycotting in this economy keep up the great work educate us more on who is supportive so we can spend our pink bucks openly gay & gay friendly
    lets put pink triangles on all our $$$ so we can be seen & documented . lets see if they pass up the buck
    yeah i like that

  • michael

    most marriott’s now ( the majority ) are franchise owned . i work for one that is run by a small company from boston ( 60 hotels assorted chains ) and there policy openly excepts gay life styles .. well at least it says it

  • michael

    what it all comes down to in gay marriage or what ever we call it . the real reason it is not going through is $ imagine all the same sex couples sharing a health care plan this is what they fear not our wedding’s
    its the almighty dollar speaking

  • T Wiliams

    Nice work Mike, and thanks subway for a quick and clear response to the issue. I know where I’m having dinner tonight….

  • Stenar

    No mention of the Subway franchisee in SLC that also donated to Prop 8. :/

Comments are closed.