Abercrombie & Fitch’s brilliant PR stunt…

When I was a junior in high school and Abercrombie & Fitch opened in Charlotte, NC. Every single student I shared a classroom with did whatever it took to own as many pieces as possible from that first Autumn Winter line in the Carolinas. It was a feeding frenzy at A&F and the formula they had laid out all worked perfectly. They employed amazing looking people, piped music through the store so loudly that you couldn’t hear yourself think let along shop properly and each and every store had the same intoxicating musk. Even today when I walk by the store in London I can smell the classic store scent from two blocks away. But something failed with Abercrombie over the past few years. Maybe too many other stores were producing the same clothing at a fraction of the price. Perhaps people decided that too many senses were in play every time they shopped in store and therefore left with a headache instead of a shopping bag full of clothes. Whatever the reason, business success has been a bit of a struggle. There have been ups and downs over the years. Stores have been sold then huge new flagships have been built. Europe has gone mad for Abercrombie while America is still in debate. It’s hard to tell if they’re coming or going. Their recent announcement signals the company is strengthening. Unfortunately their stock price is being hit just like everyone else in this rocky market. But one thing is definitely clear, they’re still here and they obviously have one kick ass press team. And here’s why…

Last night Abercrombie & Fitch announced they were offering  a significant pay out to Michael “The Situation” Sorrentino of Jersey Shore fame if he’ll agree to stop wearing their clothes. Seems they believe The Situation may be to blame for their “situation”.  A spokesperson for Abercrombie released the following statement:

“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. We have therefore offered a substantial payment to Michael ‘The Situation’ Sorrentino and the producers of MTV’sThe 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 waiting a response.”

Abercrombie, you are geniuses! This is on another level of attention grabbing PR that has all of the world talking about your brand! Throw the poor sods who’ve been swearing by your clothing to the lions..it’s the stuff books are written about. It’s not very nice and it’s insulting for “The Situation” but then again he does a good job making himself look like a joke with or without your help.

Twitter was alive with this news this morning and there were some great comments. Here’s a look at some of the winners…

What do you guys think? Too harsh, right on track or just a great PR stunt? Leave a comment below…

The Situation photos via Bauer Griffin & Pacificcoastnews


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