Saturday, August 27, 2011

Abercrombie and Fitch’s Reverse Endorsement Deal – What a Situation!

Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino of “Jersey Shore” fame, has been asked by Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF) to stop wearing their clothes. The company is willing to pay him for this, which makes it a reverse endorsement deal.

On August 16, Abercrombie announced their decision to disassociate from The Situation, stating: "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." Funny enough, Abercrombie & Fitch itself has courted controversy with racy catalogs and questionable products.

From a marketing standpoint, it is quite likely that A&F will be laughing all the way to the bank. "It gets their name further out into the marketplace with one of the hottest brands on TV right now at the peak of the back-to-school season," said Wall Street Strategies analyst Brian Sozzi. "It's free marketing. Because the approach is so ridiculous, everybody's talking about it."

MTV, who hosts Situation's "Jersey Shore", responded to Abercrombie's money offer with a statement: "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."

Abercrombie and Fitch may not want Jersey Shore’s Situation wearing their clothes but Larry Flint wants Mike Sorrentino for his Hustler brand. Larry Flynt told TMZ: “The Sitch may not be good enough for Abercrombie & Fitch, but he’s good enough for us.”

Is this move by A&F a clever PR stunt? Will reverse endorsement deals become popular? Time will tell.....

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