Before federal investigators raided the home of Subway spokesperson Jared Fogle, the company was in the midst of rebranding him to revive stagnant sales. No charges have been filed against Fogle, and FBI officials have declined to discuss the nature of the investigation. But there's no question that the upheaval has halted Subway's latest ad campaign—one that portrays Fogle as a family man keeping the weight off with a consistent diet of Subway sandwiches.
In an animated TV spot released this year, a narrated cartoon shows a sweater-clad Fogle as a new father taking his wife, Katie McLaughlin, and their two young kids—the couple have a three-year-old son and a one-year-old daughter—to a nearby Subway store. The commercial exemplifies Subway’s dependence on Fogle as its sole ambassador—a pop culture relic of the early 2000s who helped build Subway’s reputation as a health-conscious fast-food alternative. Now, as the company struggles to stay relevant among such emerging competitors as Chipotle Mexican Grill and Jimmy John’s, Fogle and his new image were poised to help revive the world’s biggest fast-food chain.