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Abercrombie asks 'Jersey Shore' star to stop wearing its clothing

The high-end teen chain, describing Mike 'The Situation' Sorrentino as 'not brand-appropriate,' offers to pay the 'Jersey Shore' reality TV star an undisclosed 'substantial' sum if he wears a different brand.

August 18, 2011|By Andrea Chang, Los Angeles Times
  • "Jersey Shore" cast member Michael Sorrentino, also known as "The Situation," arrives at the MTV Video Music Awards in Los Angeles last year.
"Jersey Shore" cast member Michael Sorrentino, also known… (Matt Sayles, AP )

Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino may have the ripped abs of an Abercrombie & Fitch Co. model, but the high-end teen chain wants the "Jersey Shore" reality television star to stop wearing its clothing.

In a news release titled "Abercrombie & Fitch proposes a win-win situation," the retailer, through its "Brand Senses Department," said:

"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."

In an interview with The Times, Abercrombie senior counsel David Cupps declined to say how much money the company had offered Sorrentino, who had not yet responded. Cupps said the offer was not a clever publicity stunt — the retailer is in the midst of its back-to-school campaign — and that Sorrentino "is not brand-appropriate."

"Abercrombie & Fitch" and "The Situation" quickly became trending topics on Twitter, with users chiming in on the offer and pointing out that the retailer has sold a "Fitchuation" shirt — an apparent play on Sorrentino's nickname.

"Abercrombie & Fitch should pay me not to wear their clothes as well. I will be awaiting your call!" tweeted Sharon Gonzalez.

"While paying the Situation to not wear its clothes is funny, I think Abercrombie & Fitch is seriously delusional about its brand perception," another Twitter user, Dan Seifert, wrote.

Abercrombie's stock fell $6.15, or 8.7%, to $64.87 on Wednesday, although analysts speculated that the drop was not "Jersey Shore"-related, but due to the retailer's earnings report. The New Albany, Ohio, company reported strong sales and a surge in profit but gave a tepid outlook for the rest of the year.

andrea.chang@latimes.com

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