ALEXANDRIA, VA: A conservative group, the Center for Individual Freedom, plans to keep public pressure on the Subway sandwich chain until the company apologizes for tray liners used in its German outlets that depicted an overweight Statue of Liberty.
Subway, in a fact sheet it put out on the matter, said the tray liners were done by the German distributors of Super Size Me to promote the film. Approval for the liners was given by the local Subway office in Amsterdam.
The center, which sees the tray liner as anti-American, is calling on Americans to contact Subway to protest and to write letters to the editors of local media outlets, said Jeffrey Mazzella, its executive director.
US House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-TX) already has publicly commented on the issue, saying in a July 26 statement, "This is every bad stereotype about corporate America come true."
Subway's corporate office found out about the tray liners when a Houston Chronicle reporter called for reaction to DeLay's statement on July 28. Subway CEO Fred DeLuca has been trying to meet with DeLay on the matter and has asked Subway operators in Germany to stop using the liners, which promoted the anti-McDonald's movie Super Size Me.
DeLay's office issued a second statement saying he was encouraged by Subway's responsiveness after it announced that it was pulling the tray liners. Stuart Roy, DeLay's communications director, said that the congressman doesn't plan further comment. "We're glad that they responded," Roy said, "but [we're] not exactly sure how you undo the damage."
Mazzella said a Subway apology is needed.
"They haven't shown an apology to the American people," he said. The center sent out thousands of e-mails on July 30 asking people to call Subway in protest and write letters.