Subway apologises over tasteless billboard ad

Fast food chains are often pretty good at reactive marketing, with the likes of McDonald's and Burger King often incorporating current affairs and sporting events into their print advertising. Get it right, and your brand looks like it has its finger on the pulse. Get it wrong, and your brand looks like... Subway.

Of all the news events to use for 'lols', the fatal implosion of a submersible probably 'ain't it'. But one Subway restaurant in Georgia decided to make light of the story with a mind-bogglingly ill-advised billboard declaring, 'Our subs don't implode'. Yep, someone thought that was a good idea. (Need a palette cleanser? Check out the best billboard ads of all time.)

Subway billboard reading 'Our subs don't implode'

(Image credit: Future)

The text is, presumably, in reference to the recent high profile case of the Titan submersible, which imploded during an expedition to visit the wreck of the Titanic, killing all five on board. And as you might expect, social media has been quick to slam the brand, calling out the tasteless ad on Twitter and beyond.  

See more
See more

And the company has already distanced itself from the ad. "We have been in contact with the franchise about this matter," Subway announced in a statement to US media, "and made it clear that this kind of comment has no place in our business."

Still, this isn't the first time a fast food chain has found itself in hot water over its insensitive reactive marketing. From McDonald's' tasteless coronavirus-themed logo to Burger King's ill-advised International Women's Day Tweet, we've seen plenty of clangers from the big brands over the last few years.

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

Daniel John
Senior News Editor

Daniel John is Senior News Editor at Creative Bloq. He reports on the worlds of art, design, branding and lifestyle tech (which often translates to tech made by Apple). He joined in 2020 after working in copywriting and digital marketing with brands including ITV, NBC, Channel 4 and more.