Subway suspends ties with Fogle after investigation

Subway said Tuesday it was suspending its relationship with Fogle.
Subway suspends ties with Fogle after investigation
Subway suspends ties with Fogle after investigation
Subway suspends ties with Fogle after investigation
Subway suspends ties with Fogle after investigation
Subway suspends ties with Fogle after investigation
Published:
Updated:

BREAKING NEWS: Subway has announced they will suspend their relationship with Jared Fogle over Tuesday's investigation.

"Subway & Jared Fogle have agreed to suspend their relationship due to the current investigation. Jared is cooperating with authorities," the company tweeted Tuesday afternoon.

The images themselves are damaging: federal agents removing computers and other materials from Jared Fogle's Zionsville home.

"Just by what has happened since 6:30 this morning is not spelling good things for his future, that's for sure, no matter what the outcome," said longtime public relations executive Jim Parham of Indianapolis-based Hirons and Company.

RELATED STORY: Federal, state agents raid home of Subway spokesperson Jared Fogle

Parham believes Subway reacted correctly, acknowledging the criminal investigation while not initially severing ties with Fogle.

"We all know the equation, 'perception equals reality'," explained Parham.

But he agrees the company will need to closely monitor public perception.

"There's going to be a lot of perception thrown about with this case and that may equal people's reality which could hurt the brand," Parham said.

Not that a brand can't be rebuilt. Star quarterback Michael Vick went to prison in connection with animal cruelty charges for operating a dog fighting ring. 

"He paid society's debt, if you will, and he came out and by all intents and purposes, he appears to be doing well," said Parham. 

And cooking and home decorating icon Martha Stewart was sentenced to five months in federal prison on for insider stock trading.

"I think in her case, she came back from a relatively minor problem, when you're talking about a multi-billion dollar brand and she's done well," Parham explained. 

While Subway is already distancing itself from Jared Fogle, this morning removing all images and mentions of him from its website, the allegations against Fogle alone could have a career-ending impact. Because unlike Michael Vick or Martha Stewart, who have desirable skills people want to pay money for, Jared Fogle has only ever stood for one thing: Subway. If he loses that, he stands to lose everything.