Tea Calling the Kettle Black: My Response to Abercrombie & Fitch
You've all seen and heard about this, right?
Abercrombie & Fitch has requested that Mike, "The Situation" Sorrentino, from the emmy-award-winning show, The Jersey Shore, stop wearing their clothing because his association with their brand "could cause significant damage to their image."
And they're willing to pay him to stop doing so.
Ok, Abercrombie and Fitch... really? (I feel like Seth Meyers from SNL right now. REALLY?)
I'm not convinced you're allowed to a.) have a soapbox or b.) a high horse in this particular situation.
You see, you've been borderline lewd for quite a while. (I'd like to call a spade a spade. Abercrombie -- you, dear friends, are spades.)
Abercrombie, you've had half-naked tweens and teens on your shopping bags since 1995. You used to publish an annual Christmas catalog that had to be WRAPPED IN PAPER because it was deemed inappropriate for general audiences because of the "simulated" sex positions and nudity. I do believe the intense conservatives even called it softcore porn.
I'm no prude, but seriously? The younger-versions of the Walmart greeters at the entrance of your mall stores are scarcely clothed... even in the middle of a midwestern winter. Cleavage, low, low jeans on boys that make you want to pull their pants up... ya'll seem uber comfortable with having your kiddos show a boat load of skin, yet you're embarrassed by the damage that The Situation is doing to your brand?
Stop it, right now.
Your stores are as dark as bedrooms [and they're loud... but, then again -- I'm old] and frat boys and sorority girls have been wearing your garments at drunken beer pong tournaments on college campuses across the continental United States for years... and now you're offended when someone you've marketed to has actually been RECORDED on television wearing your clothing while acting like an ignorant mule?
Does that make the difference? The T.V. part? If your walking billboards are televised wearing your clothing while acting like idiots is it worse than if they're not televised? Because I could take my camera down to Cabo during the months of March and April and collect a payroll totaling at least id="mce_marker" million of crazy American spring-breakers who are acting all Jersey-shore-like while wearing your clothes.
This is a classic case of the whiney kid wanting to stop the game when it starts to not go his way.
While I think it's funny that you're offering to pay The Situation off, I just think it's whiney.
Like, I know that there are more than a handful of women out there wearing skinny jeans that shouldn't be, but I don't see the Gap paying them to take their pants off and NEVER wear them again.
And, I'm ELEVEN years older than Forever 21's target market, yet I still own some of their trendy little pieces. Should they pay me to stop wearing their clothes because I'm old?
You see, Abercrombie, you don't get to choose your demographic. They, interestingly enough, choose you... based on how you market to them.
Perhaps it's time to step back and re-evaluate your brand. Who are you? What is it exactly that you're attempting to sell and to whom exactly?
As you stated, you believe that Abercrombie has an "aspirational nature", but the truth is...
...you're just as questionable as The Situation.
(Those kids look like they're 15. Sickos.)
****P.S. I'm no prude, but this situation (pun intended) made me chuckle. Ah, sweet, sweet, good 'ole American hypocrisy.
****P.S. As evidenced by this post, I adore idioms.