It's no big secret that our illustrious former mayor likes to namedrop touchstones of society life. Hermes, McCalls, Kokkari, Getty, Shulz, ad nauseum - It's like a trail of breadcrumbs that lead you to the foot of his opulent lifestyle. (Where you can kiss his alligator-skin shoes, probably.) But this week's InsideScoop column titled "How to Survive a Banquet? Head to Subway" is not just a break from character for the man who gilded city hall, it might also be the clearest evidence we have that the teflon-coated former occupant of Room 200 is still on the take. So this week, we're breaking from our usual format to provide the following open letter to Willie Brown.
Dear Da Mayor,
As loyal followers of your columns for the Chronicle and Inside Scoop, we here at SFist have been enjoying your twice-weekly ruminations on politics, the society life, movies, and of course - dining out. However, we have started to notice a troubling pattern with your frequent mentions of the popular Subway Sandwiches chain of restaurants. You mention at the start of this week's Inside Scoop post that you've "become a critic of banquets." We've noticed this as well, actually - by our count high-end local caterer McCall's has been mentioned at least twice a month since we've started keeping score roughly six months ago. We have no qualms with this, by the way, it's perfectly reasonable to use your favorite catering company as the high water mark by which you judge the competition.
Instead, our lean and tender roast beef is with the flagrant endorsement of Subway sandwiches that has twice (twice!) floated that company's logo across our browser windows like the scent of fresh baked Hearty Italian Bread drifting on a San Francisco breeze. This week you claim that no caliber of banquet food, neither Marriott, nor Fairmont, nor Ritz Carlton can appease your discerning palate and thus you opt to drop in to a local Subway francise to "destroy" your appetite.
Previously, back in October you stacked the praise high like a three-meat Subway club when you told us, "Don't have time for a proper meal? Try Subway." As you wrote in a paragraph that appeared next to a promotional photo of what looks to be a 6-inch Turkey Breast and Black Forest Ham sandwich:
Monday night football interrupts my dinner hour. My recommendation is try a Subway sandwich, maybe spicy Italian on whole wheat bread, toasted with cheddar cheese and every form of vegetable in the place except onions. Then add a little sprinkle of Dijon, mayo, oil and vinegar and you won’t care who wins. Man was it good; $5 for a foot long.
While we recognize those words could be entirely your own and not, in fact, provided by Subway's social media marketing team, we would still like to take this moment to remind you of the Federal Trade Commission's guidelines for endorsements and testimonials. This section in particular:
...advertisers and endorsers may be liable for failure to disclose material connections between the advertiser and endorsers. The revised Guides also make it clear that celebrities have a duty to disclose their relationships with advertisers when making endorsements outside the context of traditional ads, such as on talk shows or in social media.
Since you're a celebrity first and a blogger second, we thought that section would resonate with you. Should you shun your celebrity status, however, you should know the same holds true for bloggers who aren't paid by their publications. As we're told Inside Scoop contributors aren't.
In conclusion, we don't mind one bit that you enjoy the company of a Sweet Onion Chicken Teriyaki sandwich now and then. We all occasionally succumb to temptation when faced with a fresh, toasted 12-incher lovingly crafted by a local sandwich artist. We'd just like you to be forthcoming with us about your relationship.
The Editorial Staff of SFist.com
P.S. Totally loved your review of Fast Five. You're right, after four tries they totally nailed it!