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OFF BEAT: Suit says Subway sold customers short on 'footlongs'

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A pair of New Jersey residents sued Subway Sandwich Shops Inc. this week, claiming that the restaurant chain’s famous “footlong” sandwiches don’t measure up to their name.

In a complaint filed Thursday in a Burlington County, N.J., state Superior Court, John Farley and Charles Pendrack allege that “footlong” sandwiches ordered in 17 different Subway shops all measured less than 12 inches in length, according to reports by ABC News and the Associated Press.

The lawsuit asks the court for compensatory damages for false advertising, as well as an order forcing the Milford, Conn.-based restaurant chain to rename the sandwiches and discontinue ad campaigns featuring the “footlong” tag if it cannot guarantee that the sandwiches will actually measure a full foot in length, according to reports.

A similar lawsuit was filed Tuesday against Subway and its parent company, Doctor’s Associates Inc., in a Cook County, Ill., circuit court.

The lawsuits were filed several days after a Subway customer in Australia posted photos online of a “footlong” sub measuring 11 inches, setting off a wave of criticism and mockery directed at the company.

In a statement posted — and later erased — on Subway Australia’s Facebook page on Jan. 16, the company said that the “footlong” name is “a descriptive name for the sub” and “not intended to be a measurement of length.”

Subway offered a second statement to the Chicago Tribune on Thursday, saying that its “commitment remains steadfast to ensure that every Subway footlong sandwich is 12 inches at each location worldwide."