Dress it up how you like, but Subway's new Halloween ad is being called sexist

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By Randee Dawn

Summer's over, but now we have to stay buff for ... Halloween season? That's the mood Subway hoped to capitalize on in a new ad, in which a woman asserts she has to eat healthy to fit into her sexy Halloween costumes.

Eating healthy is something everyone should do year round, but an ad playing on women's concern for their weight, coupled with an overabundance of very adult costumes (for a night that's traditionally about children) is causing controversy. (Sexy Halloween costumes have long been weirding us out.)

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Time magazine wrote a post excoriating the ad, headlined: "Subway Wants Women to Stay Skinny So They Can Wear Sexy Halloween Costumes," and notes in the accompanying piece, "This new ad reminds you that it's never time to stop dieting."

Adds Jezebel, "The ad is obviously sexist, but it's also just stupid and lazy. How easy would it have been for them to throw a man in as well? Plenty of guys wear shirtless Halloween costumes."

A man does appear in the ad, but he never moves from his seat and eventually is shown in a Viking costume for laughs. That's not quite the same as the woman, who cycles through several iterations of titillating costumes.

Not everyone thinks there's a lot of meat on this controversy sandwich, though:



"You don't have to read so into it," noted TODAY's Carson Daly on Friday.

Agreed TODAY's Matt Lauer, "I do think you need to at least look for the humor in it."

A Subway spokesperson told TODAY, "We understand that some people may not have picked up on the intended humor in our Halloween commercial. Our objective was certainly not to offend anyone."

Either way, it's important to remember ... right after Halloween comes the end-of-year holidays, and those are packed with calorie-laden treats, too. May as well eat healthy now!

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