It’s not everyday a clothing company pays celebrities to stop wearing their brand, but that’s the case with Abercrombie & Fitch and the cast of the MTV reality show Jersey Shore. Abercrombie & Fitch, known for its sexy, preppy clothing, has offered to pay a substantial amount to Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino and any other cast member to stop wearing its clothing because it’s damaging to the brand’s image.
Now it might seem confusing that the store that places half-naked models in the entrance of their flagship stores would be concerned about who wears their clothing, but the company claims that Sorrentino is not the ideal personality to represent the brand.
Why wouldn’t A&F want this free publicity? With the back-to-school season wrapping up and the holidays around the corner, the company can benefit from this free marketing. Many companies often pay celebrities to represent their brand, so why wouldn’t A&F want the cast to wear their brand?
A&F doesn’t agree with the kind of role models that the Jersey Shore cast represents. The show features six 20 to 30 year old men and women, who swear, get drunk, hook-up and behave erratically. Their behaviour doesn’t exactly fit the preppy manner.
The shows latest season, season five, took place in Italy. This is an opportunity and a threat. A threat because A&F hasn’t yet expanded to the European market and don’t want Europeans to associate the brand with Sorrentino’s characteristics, but on the other hand, its free publicity.
Should A&F take this as a win-win situation? Should Mike Sorrentino be offended at the request to stop wearing A&F, or is it understandable that celebrities carry persuasion and are walking advertisements? Should celebrities be held accountable?