The Shrinking Subway Foot-Long and Other Chain-Store Myths for Consumers

This article is from the archive of our partner .

Everyone is upset with Subway today because, well, occasionally their footlong subs don't always measure out to a complete foot long. But Subway isn't the only place you can find retailers coming up short.

Here's the Subway story: an Australian man uploaded a picture to Subway's Facebook page, showing his supposedly footlong sub next to a tape measurer — and the tape measurer shows the sub is only 11 inches.

Feeling inspired, the New York Post investigated Subway "restaurants" in New York City and found that only four of seven footlong sandwiches met the full measure. Now more people are measuring their subs and crying foul on Subway's Facebook page because their lunch is lacking the full submarine length advertised. The old adage proves true once again: length matters. 

But Subway isn't the first restaurant or retail chain to fib when it comes to size. Not nearly:

The Myth of Pants

You think you're a skinny minny with that 30-inch waist? Probably not. Depending on where you buy your jeans, you're probably a few inches fatter than your pants will tell you. Abram Sauer investigated the world of vanity sizing in men's pants for Esquire and found most stores aren't accurate when it comes to waist sizes. Old Navy turned out to be the worst offender — their pants advertising a 36-inch waist were, in reality, a 41-inch waist. 

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The Myth of Burgers

You know when you order a burger from a fast-food joint because it looks so mouth-watering in the commercials or the pictures on the menu? And then you sit down, take your burger out of the bag, and find something significantly flatter, fatter, and grosser than what you thought you ordered? That's because marketers go through the pain-staking process of tabletop advertising to make sure everything looks just right. Should that not be enough to create an appetizing picture that will capture even the most distant stoner's attention, there's always Photoshop to finish the job. 

The Apple Maps Myth

Remember that horrible time when Apple debuted a horrible new Maps app and it was literally the worst thing to happen to anyone, ever? (That might be overstating it a bit.) Well, that might be overstating the issue for most people. The app seemed to give faulty directions sometimes, but not too often, and it didn't have the functionality of Apple's old Maps app. Which is pretty bad for an app that's supposed to help get us where we want to go! But it was especially bad for users in Australia. (Poor people, jeepers.) The app eft an unlucky few people stranded in the middle of the outback somewhere. Thankfully, we can all download the new Google Maps for iOS app. It doesn't get anyone lost, ever. That we know of... because we get lost a lot. 

The Cellphone Myth

In terms of half-truths in advertising, cellphone companies are some of the worst offenders. They've been busted for fibbing about everything from camera features to screen resolution to download speeds to Siri

So, there you go. There is no real truth in advertising. Enjoy that Italian sub and get over it. 

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.