A fake Subway “Subtember 11” coupon published by the satirical news site The Onion caused no small degree of offense… but the spurious discount was honored by a location of the franchise when a worker didn’t know of the “joke.”
The Subway “Subtember 11” coupon satire is not in excellent taste, but seems meant to mock the businesses that genuinely do use September 11 to hawk their wares — a few ill-considered 9/11 marketing emails show up in our inboxes each year.
But Subway was not one of those brands, and the “Subtember 11” coupon made by The Onion was so over the top horrible it’s difficult to believe anyone didn’t see it for what it was.
The post with the fake Subway 9/11 coupon begins:
“Citing a wide range of deals customers will ‘never forget,’ fast food chain Subway announced an exciting new promotion this week to honor and commemorate Subtember 11.”
Promising two footlong subs for the price of $9.11, the satire continues with a quote:
“From the Structural Steel Melt on Tower 7–Grain bread to the Twin Chowers cold cut combo with Ground Zero–Carb vinaigrette on a Let’s Whole Wheat Roll, we’ve got something for everybody this Subtember 11.”
Eater reports that the coupon was passed off, but ostensibly not on purpose by the bearer:
“As a prank, YouTuber Travis Northup convinced his friend that the two footlong subs for $9.11 “Subtember 11″ deal was real, and took him to a Subway in San Francisco’s Financial District. Northup posted the fake coupon they used, a receipt, and a video of the clerk accepting the coupon. (The receipt also shows the sale took place at Subway #25578, which points to the San Francisco location.)”
The YouTube prankster tricked both his friend and a San Francisco Subway by proxy with the fake coupon, as seen in the clip below.
On September 6, Subway decried the fake Subtember 11 coupon on Twitter, tweeting:
Like everyone, we are deeply offended by the fake story and ad created by The Onion.
— SUBWAY Restaurants (@SUBWAY) September 6, 2013
Subway has not addressed the Subtember 11 video, and their own Twitter account was silent on that day.