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.