In what may be one of the most unusual marketing ploys ever, Abercrombie & Fitch is actually offering to pay someone not to be a spokesperson, but to completely shun their brand altogether.
Following a posting of their quarterly profits, a spokesperson for the trending clothing store claims that they have made a rather hefty offer to “Jersey Shore” season 4 star Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino in hopes that he will actually stop wearing their clothes:
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 also extended this offer to other members of the cast, and are urgently waiting a response.”
Apparently, Abercrombie is not exactly a believer in the “any publicity is good publicity” theory of success. Although they may not like it, it is theoretically possible that the cast is helping their brand. Tourism in Seaside Heights, New Jersey has actually increased thanks to visits by Snooki and Pauly D, and overall the success of the show has done more good than harm to the region in terms of pure dollars and cents.
What do you think of Abercrombie’s “offer” to the cast — and should they feel insulted?