Here’s something you don’t see every day: a company offering to pay celebrities not to use their products!
But it’s apparently happening with Abercrombie & Fitch, a company that isn’t a stranger to controversy because of its catalogs that have attracted negative attention because of sensuality depicted in the images of younger models.
The company is reportedly offering the cast of Jersey Shore money to stop wearing their brand on the show. Having its clothing worn on the program, especially by star Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino, the company says in a statement, could cause “significant damage” to the brand.
But wait: it gets weirder:
“Abercrombie says a connection to The Situation goes against the ‘aspirational nature’ of its brand and may be ‘distressing’ to customers.”
I’m not necessarily the hippest person in the world, and I don’t wear anything from Abercrombie & Fitch because, well, I don’t look like someone in one of their catalogs. So I don’t have any firsthand knowledge of their brand.
But “aspirational nature?” Really?
When I think of aspiring to something greater, A&F isn’t the first brand that comes to mind. It isn’t even on the list.
But the marketer in me is curious: if a celebrity misbehaves and happens to be wearing a specific brand of clothing, do you hold his behavior against the brand itself, or just the celebrity?
I can understand cases where there is a paid endorsement, in which a brand name specifically pays a celebrity to wear their stuff. But I’m talking about a case of a celebrity just wearing a brand of clothing on his own. Does bad behavior alienate you from the brand?
Are you more likely to favor the A&F brand because it’s trying to separate itself from Jersey Shore?