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Abercrombie & Fitch has offered compensation to Michael “The Situation” Sorrentino, a character on MTV’s TV show “The Jersey Shore,” to stop wearing A&F products. The teen retailer called the offer a “win-win” situation on its Web site Tuesday, explaining: “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.”
The statement, from the A&F Brand Senses Department, said the offer of a substantial — but undisclosed — payment to Mr. Sorrentino and the producers of the show is in exchange for the character wearing an “alternate brand.” The company also said: “We have also extended this offer to other members of the cast, and are urgently waiting a response.”
This story first appeared in the August 17, 2011 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
It wasn’t clear whether the offer was a serious one, or simply a tongue-in-cheek attempt to gain publicity. After all, A&F is the retailer whose catalogues of shirtless (and sometimes bottomless) male models used to generate squeals of complaint.