Abercrombie & Fitch is trying to bribe Jersey Shore's Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino to stop wearing their clothing. The overpriced retail chain has offered the reality star a lot of money to trade in his Abercrombie wardrobe for alternate apparel.
"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. We have therefore offered a substantial payment to Michael ‘The Situation’ Sorrentino and the producers of MTV’s The Jersey Shore to have the character wear an alternate brand. We have also extended this offer to other members of the cast, and are urgently waiting a response.”
It's a classy move from the classy brand that's notorious for hiring half-naked models to lollygag in front of franchise stores to lure adolescents in to survey the sleazy, over-priced, vanity-sized goods within. Abercrombie sells the aspirational image of the teenage dream: perfect-looking young people lounging on beaches and hooking up. When I try to imagine the people in Abercrombie campaigns talking to each other, all I hear is grunting. It's not so strange that the beach- and sex-addicted, appearance-obsessed cast of the Jersey Shore would identify with Abercrombie's advertised lifestyle. And it's natural that the brand worries that Shoreys wearing Abercrombie will "cause significant damage to [their] image." But the real-life version of Abercrombie's brand image looks a lot like the infamous cast of the Jersey Shore: young, vain beach bums who are crass, superficial, foolish. They spend so much time trying to live up to the Abercrombie dream that they have nothing to talk about but drama, sex, and getting wasted. If Abercrombie doesn't want to be associated with crude characters, maybe they should update their brand image. Abercrombie sells the fantasy that the vulgar can be expensive, but it turns out that even if the vulgar costs a lot it still doesn't look that good. When it comes down to it, Abercrombie deserves The Jersey Shore.