The importance of public image to a company’s success

22News looks at the role that public image has in marketing a business

(Dan Henry/Chattanooga Times Free Press via AP)

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Despite years of working together, Subway instantly dumped its spokesman while he’s being investigated for child pornography. Image is everything to a company.

Most of us don’t personally know Jared Fogle, the success-story-turned-spokesman of Subway, but when people heard he was being investigated for child pornography, this was their reaction: “That’s crazy.”

“We live in an age of celebrity status,” said marketing consultant Paul Robbins. He told 22News companies take advantage of that, and this age of information, to advertise. However, that also means possible secrets of celebrities, like Jared, or Bill Cosby, tend to surface.

Robbins told 22News in this information age, it’s crucial for businesses to be transparent and that could be one reason why Subway cut ties with Jared before he was even found guilty of anything.

More than a dozen women have accused Bill Cosby of sexual assault. Court documents revealed he admitted to giving drugs to women before sex. Yet legally, he’s still innocent.

“Personally, in my personal opinion is that he did everything he was accused of doing and I think that people should look at him through a very negative lens,” said John Lyons of Northampton.

Walt Disney World confirmed they removed a statue of Bill Cosby. Public opinion is everything to a business.

While the FBI investigates Jared’s electronics in a forensics unit outside his home, Robbins said the Subway brand might not be tarnished.

“Over the long haul, they’ve developed enough goodwill, enough marketing pizzazz that it’s not going to hurt them long term. And I think people recognize the behavior of an individual doesn’t necessarily represent the brand,” said Robbins.

It might, however, take longer for the public to forget allegations against Jared Fogle and Bill Cosby.

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