An actual request or simply a publicity stunt? Either way, retailer Abercrombie & Fitch is getting some nice attention this week after a statement they released asking Michael Sorrentino, one of the stars of the reality television seriesThe Jersey Shore and who is most often referred to by his nickname, “The Situation”, to stop wearing clothing made by their company. And not only do they want him to stop, but they’ve offered to pay him not to wear their clothing. According to the Wall Street Journal, after a staffer saw an episode of the hit MTV show wherein Serrentino was wearing a visibly-branded A&F shirt, CEO Mike Jeffries decided this might damage “the aspirational nature of the brand” and cooked up the scheme to try to pay to end it. Though Jeffries also added, “We’re having a lot of fun with it,” explaining that the whole thing might not be entirely serious. Here’s the company’s full 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. 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.