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Subway apologizes for Calgary sign offering free face masks with sandwich purchase

A sign outside Westbrook Mall in Calgary advertised a free medical face mask to customers who bought two sandwiches. .
A sign outside Westbrook Mall in Calgary advertised a free medical face mask to customers who bought two sandwiches. . Global News

Subway Canada has apologized for a sign outside a Calgary restaurant advertising free face masks with the purchase of sub sandwiches.

The large billboard sign seen outside a Subway in the Westbrook Mall on Thursday advertised that if a customer bought two regular size sandwiches, they’d get a free medical face mask.

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“FREE medical mask to protect you and your kids,” it read.

It also featured images of two people wearing face masks.

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In an emailed statement, Subway Canada country director Cristina Wells said the company didn’t direct the franchisee to put up the sign.

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“This was an unsanctioned and completely inappropriate promotion undertaken by a franchise owner,” Wells said.

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“This was addressed with the franchisee immediately upon becoming aware and the sign has since been taken down.

“Subway Canada in no way condones this regrettable incident, and sincerely apologizes for the insensitivity in the message.”

Face masks have been in high demand since the coronavirus outbreak started, with pharmacies and suppliers across the country facing shortages and resale sites banning and removing online ads for them.

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Community groups, organizations, post-secondary schools and suppliers are also ramping up production of the masks — and other health supplies and equipment — to provide to front-line health workers amidst worries about a possible shortage.

In Toronto, at least two hospitals have started rationing protective gear as they face supply shortages.