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MTV is firing back at Abercrombie & Fitch after the youth-targeted clothing brand issued a statement saying it is willing to pay Jersey Shore star Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino to refrain from wearing its merchandise. Sorrentino has frequently sported the brand on the MTV reality program.
“It’s a clever PR stunt, and we’d love to work with them on other ways they can leverage Jersey Shore to reach the largest youth audience on television,” an MTV spokesperson said in a statement.
In a Tuesday news release titled, “A Win-Win Situation,” Abercrombie & Fitch expressed concern over its brand image as a result of the connection.
“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 aspiration nature of our brand and may be distressing to many of our fans,” the company said.
Adding, “We have therefore offered a substantial payment to Michael ‘The Situation’ Sorrentino and the producers of MTV’s 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 awaiting a response.”
Jersey Shore debuted its fourth season to record ratings on Aug. 4 and consistently scores well with the 12-34 demographic. The show also frequently sparks user interaction on social media vehicles including Twitter and Facebook.
In a recent study by social media agency Mr. Youth, it was discovered that both MTV and Abercrombie are struggling with reaching the youth audience. Teens reportedly watch MTV, but not with respect, believing that the network over-simplifies their generation. Abercrombie, on the other hand, doesn’t fit in with the generation’s value of diversity, self-expression and understated product branding.
THR reached out to representatives from Abercrombie & Fitch, who were not immediately available for comment.
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