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Subway Shows How NOT to Hold a Contest at Your Store

From Michelle Malkin:

The Subway sandwich corporation is holding a story-writing contest for kids. You can win athletic equipment, gift baskets, or sandwich shop cash cards.

Except if you’re a homeschooled student in the “Untied (sic) States.”

Perhaps they fear the homeschooled students will call attention to all their spelling errors. Looks like the Subway marketing department ought to hire a few homeschoolers to help them out.

More here.

I vote for this essay. Touché.

As a business, there are a few lessons to take away from this bit of inanity on Subway’s part.

  1. Don’t exclude a group of people from the contest without some kind of common sense rationale. Why exclude home schooled students? Does Subway think they aren’t really students? Does Subway think that the parents will write their essays? Does Subway know that they will probably win every prize? Regardless, there isn’t any obvious reason to make this exclusion.Here is an example of a valid exclusion. We are sponsoring a Catholic Summer Reading program this summer. Entries in the kids’ category are limited to grade school children. If anyone can’t understand why adults can’t enter reading sheets in the kids category, I’ll be happy to fill you in.
  2. If you are going to launch a national campaign, hire somebody to spell check your work. Auto spellcheckers are nice but not perfect.Grand Prize Winner:– Athletic equipment for your child’s school ($5,000 value)
    – Scholastic Gift Bastket (sic) for your home
    – SUBWAY Card ($100 value)
    – See your story published on www.subwaykids.com and in Scholastic Parent and Child magazine.

    NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. Contest is open only to legal residents of the Untied (sic) States who are currently over the age of 18 and have children who attend elementary, private or parochial schools that serve grades PreK-6. No home schools will be accepted. [bold added]
    Talk about a good way to invite ridicule. First you prove that you can’t spell (twice!) and then you reject home schools. Reading the paragraph again, it appears that Subway actually considers home schools, not the parents who run them, to be legal residents of the Untied States.

  3. Before you even start a contest, carefully consider the ramifications of doing something really stupid like this. Do you really want a boycott from the millions of home schoolers in this country? Maybe you don’t care. In that case, full speed ahead!

You can read the full text of the Subway writing contest here.

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