Abercrombie & Jersey Shore: Just a Publicity Stunt?
Product placement is a huge part of advertising. To have your brand featured in a movie or on television distinguishes you from the rest of the pack, especially if the movie/show is highly acclaimed. At other times, logos are blurred out, especially on television shows where the bad guy is wearing the logo.
Abercrombie & Fitch recently offered Jersey Shore bad boy Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino and the rest of the cast big bucks if they stop wearing their line of clothing on the air. The company feels the association does not represent the Abercrombie & Fitch brand and that it may be upsetting to the company’s loyal customers.
Their customers might be more upset if their moms suddenly showed up with Abercrombie plastered across their behinds, or if dads start sporting their T-shirts.
While Abercrombie’s chairman and chief executive, Michael S. Jeffries, says that the company is having fun with the offer, analysts are portraying the payoff as a publicity stunt.
Abercrombie’s market is teenagers and early 20-somehtings, so why they company is afraid that customers may be upset is confusing. After all, Abercrombie has never been afraid of a little controversy.
In 2002, Abercrombie released a line of T-shirts featuring Asian caricatures. They were forced to full the T-shirts due to numerous complaints by Asian college students. However, the company maintained that it had poked fun at other groups, and felt these shirts were in the same vein. In 2011, Abercrombie is being criticized for offering padded push-up bikini tops to young girls.
Critics say that if Abercrombie was really serious, they would have probably taken the legal route rather than trying to pay off the cast.