UK and EU law state that products sold in the UK must be advertised in metric units (Wikipedia). However, Subway's sells sandwiches that are "footlong" or "six inches", and at least two pizzeras I have been also advertise their pizzas by diameter in inches (online example). Considering that traders have been prosecuted for not using the metric system, how can Subway's and pizzerias legally do so?

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    Just an idea (I do not know if I am right or not, just an inspiration I just had) for the sandwich: they are not units but the name of the product. You do not buy a sandwich by meters or foots, you buy a sandwich that is called "footlong" as it could have been called "big" or "monster" (you cannot order "13 inches of sandwich"). In the opposite, uncountable goods (milk, cheese, ham) can be served in any quantity (you can ask for 300gr. or 310gr. of cheese) and these would be subject to use of units. youtube.com/watch?v=cWDdd5KKhts
    – SJuan76
    Commented Jan 25, 2017 at 22:23
  • However, the pizzas were clearly claims about diameter. You can reasonably argue that the sandwich is not making a measurement claim, but not the pizza (esp. since it includes "14.5 inch").
    – user6726
    Commented Jan 25, 2017 at 22:25
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    And a link from wikipedia (last paragraph): en.wikipedia.org/wiki/…
    – SJuan76
    Commented Jan 25, 2017 at 22:38

1 Answer 1


From the Wikipedia you linked:

Goods and services sold by a description are not covered by weights and measures legislation; thus, a fence panel sold as "6 foot by 6 foot" is legal, as is a 6 x 4 inch photograph frame, but a pole sold with the price described as "50 pence per linear foot", with no accompanying metric price, would be illegal.

In both cases the measurement is a description of the product, not a unit by which the consumer is charged.

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