Abercrombie & Fitch (A&F) aren't exactly known for their conservative adverts, but in an effort to protect their image, they have asked Jersey Shore's Michael "The Situation" Sorrentino to stop wearing their clothes.
A&F are even willing to pay Sorrentino (and the rest of the Jersey Shore cast) a "substantial" amount to drop their association with the brand.
In a statement issued on Tuesday, the company 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."
MTV derided A&F's move as a "clever PR stunt," an MTV spokesperson said in a statement. "And we’d love to work with them on other ways they can leverage Jersey Shore to reach the largest youth audience on television."
It's mad to think that A&F would refuse free advertising on a show that's largely popular among much of their target market.
Marshal Cohen, Chief Industry Analyst for market research firm NPD Group, is also baffled by the proposition.
"Most people would give their right arm to get celebrities to wear their product on air and on the street. It's rare for a brand to go the other way," he said.
"Most don't have the nerve to be able to ask that question. It will only fuel the fire, it will only entice the celebrity.
"The exposure that they're continually getting from him is worth a significant amount of ad dollars. You can't run an ad campaign that will equal that money."
A&F's share price took a large hit after the statement was issued, falling almost 9% for the day.
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