Subway Taps BBDO as New Creative Agency

Move Comes as Chain Tries To Reverse Sagging Sales, Put Jared Scandal Behind

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Chris Carroll
Chris Carroll Credit: SeeQuent Photography/PR NEWSWIRE/Newscom

Subway has tapped Omnicom's BBDO to handle its advertising after a review.

The Omnicom agency will replace Boston-based MMB, which has long handled Subway's work. Other agencies involved in the review include Interpublic Group of Cos. shops the Martin Agency and McCann Erickson.

The agency change comes as the company is trying to rebound from an estimated 3% decline in U.S. sales last year, its first decline in years. It also comes after Subway's longtime pitchman, Jared Fogle, was investigated by federal authorities in early July. Last week, Mr. Fogle said that he would plead guilty to child pronography and for paying for sex with minors.

BBDO referred calls to the client. A representative for Subway did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Talk of reviewing agencies, according to people familiar with the matter, began as far back as last past winter, but only this summer did the review really kick into gear.

Chris Carroll, who has been overseeing the review, returned to Subway in recent months and now has the title chief advertising officer. Longtime Chief Marketing Officer Tony Pace will be departing the company at the end of September.

For BBDO, the win, first reported by The Wall Street Journal, puts the agency back in a category it had been looking to get into. The agency previously worked on Arby's, but that moved to MDC's CP&B in 2012 and later to Fallon. BBDO also worked on Pizza Hut for 20 years until 2009.

Subway in 2014 spent about $533.2 million on U.S. measured media, according to Kantar Media, up 3.5% from $515.2 million.

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