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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

All press is good press?

Abercrombie is not a fan of Jersey Shore. It offered ""substantial payment" to the cast members NOT to wear their clothes on-air. Which is, you know, the opposite of how that usually works - it's reverse product placement. The brand singles out Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino in particular, saying that "his association with the brand could cause significant damage to [their] image," but also says they've extended the offer to the rest of the cast.

Abercrombie has a very clean image. The cast of Jersey Shore does not. It's a trashy show, and the people on it do trashy things. I wonder, though, if this was a PR ploy on Abercrombie's part. Right or wrong, Jersey Shore is a popular show, and retail numbers are down in general. (I actually walked out of an Abercrombie a few months ago, realizing I'm too old to shop there.) You can call me cynical (and I'd agree with you), but I do wonder if this is an attempt to drum up a scandal. MTV thinks so - but that's really the only card it can play when a brand tells them "One of your cash cows is gross."

I will say that while I haven't watched since the first season, but when I did, I never noticed what the cast was wearing unless it was really ugly. And it surprises me that Sitch and 'nem would wear Abercrombie because their stuff is so clean-cut and all-American. The clothes those folks wear conjure up a number of adjectives, but "clean-cut" is not among them. Also, the show has made the cast a lot of money, and from what I hear The Situation has done particularly well (including a stint on Dancing with the Stars). As cocky as he appears to be, I'd expect him to label-drop Gucci every five seconds, not make a point of wearing Abercrombie.

So what do you think? Genuine concern or PR ploy?

*UPDATE: Larry Flynt has offered The Situation cash to wear Hustler brand clothes. I gotta admit, this cracks me up. And The Situation makes out like a bandit either way.

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