FAST-FOOD company Subway has reignited the ''footlong'' controversy by claiming the name of the super sandwich is "not intended to be a measurement of length".
Social media erupted last week when Perth teenager Matt Corby posted a photo to Subway Australia's Facebook page showing a ''footlong'' sub that was only 11 inches long, with the caption "subway pls respond".
The image prompted more than 100,000 "Likes" and customers worldwide joined in by sharing their own photos of undersized subs.
Subway Australia responded to the image by arguing on Facebook that references to foot-long are not intended to explicitly guarantee its length.
"Looking at the photo doing the rounds, showing a slightly undersized sub, this bread clearly is not baked to our standards,'' the company said.
Subway wrote:"With regards to the size of the bread and calling it a footlong, 'Subway Footlong' is a registered trademark as a descriptive name for the sub sold in Subway restaurants and not intended to be a measurement of length."
The Subway Australia Facebook page was bombarded with complaints.
There also were predictions the "lame response" was likely to prompt a backlash.
Damien Rose called for a class action to be mounted and Richard Moesbergen wrote that it was the worst spin he had heard in some time.
"So how do you explain the 'six-inch' sub?'' he asked.
''Is that not really an indication of a measurement either?"
Greg Peyton wrote that saving one inch per sub could save millions of dollars for Subway.Matt Smith posted a video link to a 2008 Subway ad that suggests a footlong is indeed a foot long.
"I can't believe you're attempting to hide behind a technicality, Subway,'' he posted.
''Not entirely honest of you."
But Subway responded that the commercial was produced in the United States.
Subway wrote:"The US is not governed by the measurement legislation as we are in Australia," the company said.
Some posters criticised the backlash as "first-world problems", and posts ranged from the outraged to the obvious sexual allusions, to problem solvers.