Abercrombie & Fitch Wants No Part of Jersey Shore Crowd
The Jersey Shore cast is not feeling the love these days.
Earlier in the year, New Jersey Govenor Chris Christie said, "Remember, Snooki is from Poughkeepsie (NY) and the Situation is from Staten Island (NY). That’s not New Jersey. … Take them back. We don’t want them."
This week, Abercrombie & Fitch, a chain that just last year was selling "The Fitchuation" t-shirts, has offered Mike "the Situation" Sorrentino and other cast members unspecified amounts of money to stop wearing its clothing.
In a press release, the company offered the following statement: "We are deeply concerned that Mr. Sorrentino’s association with our brand could cause significant damage to our image. We understand that the show is for entertainment purposes, but believe this association is contrary to the aspirational nature of our brand, and may be distressing to many of our fans."
Abercrombie & Fitch is no stranger to controversy. The chain has temporarily ended the publication of its A&F Quarterly in 2003 following a story on "group sex" brought protests. Earlier this year, it backtracked after it was accused of marketing push-up bikini tops to girls between the ages of seven and 14 years.
As for the latest dust-up, most seem to think it’s a publicity stunt — that has worked, since Abercrombie & Fitch’s announcement has been widely covered.
"Abercrombie & Fitch saw an opportunity to get some advantageous publicity during the all-important back-to-school season," John D. Morris, senior retail analyst for BMO Capital Markets, told CNNMoney. "It’s definitely a good water-cooler conversation."
Paul Lejuez, a retail analyst with Nomura, told The Wall Street Journal, "I think they’re cool with his chiseled abs. I don’t think that’s the problem." The issue, he said, is that "what comes through in his (Mr. Sorrentino’s) personality" is not in keeping with the Abercrombie & Fitch image.
- Gov. Christie: ‘Jersey Shore’ New Yorkers give N.J. a bad name – The Star-Ledger
- A&F: Bad Press Over Bikinis for Grade Schoolers – RetailWire
- Abercrombie & Fitch Says Jersey Shore Member Is Tarnishing Its Brand, But It Sells "The Fitchuation" T-shirts – Business Insider
- Abercrombie & Fitch Proposes a Win-Win Situation – Abercrombie & Fitch Co.
- Abercrombie to ‘Jersey Shore’: Ditch our brand – CNNMoney
- Abercrombie’s ‘Situation’: Biting the Abs That Feed It – The Wall Street Journal
- Abercrombie & Fitch wants clothes off Jersey Shore – Reuters
- Abercrombie drops 9% after ‘Jersey Shore’ diss – CNNMoney
Discussion Questions: What do you think was Abercrombie & Fitch’s motivation with its offer to pay the cast of The Jersey Shore to stop wearing its clothing? Did it achieve its objective with the announcement?