Sunday 21 August 2011

Not the situation Abercrombie and Fitch had in mind.

For those of you who are regular readers of my blog, you'll know I like to keep up with the some of the serious news stories of the day.

It may surprise you to know, that I also find time in my life to watch a worrying amount of reality tv nonsense. I can probably tell you just a much about the Kardashians, as I can about the Euro Zone crisis.

One of my favourite reality tv shows is Jersey Shore. If you haven't seen it, think Big Brother but with Italian Americans who spend their time fighting, clubbing, drinking, and shagging!

It's been in the news this week as one of the stars of the show, Mike 'The Situation' Sorrentino has been offered money by the fashion label Abercrombie and Fitch not to wear their clothes on the show.

Mike the 'Situation' Sorrentino being the Situation.

According to Abercrombie and Fitch, Mike the Situation, is not the kind of person that best represents what the brand is about. In there own words they have said of Sorrintino his: 'association is contrary to the aspirational nature of our brand'.

I used to be a big fan of Abercrombie and Fitch, but I've gone off the label, and pretentious comments like this help to explain why. Their clothes are a 'preppy' more upmarket version of Gap. Their shops are staffed by the most ridiculously good looking people, to point where I no longer go to the flag ship London store, as I only feel fat and ugly and most of their clothes don't even fit me anymore.

If there's anything aspirational about A&F it's about an unatainable version of beauty.

Anyway it got me thinking about brand reputation and how companies try and manage their reputations. This week I've read reports that the sports brand Addidas has suffered as a result of the UK riots, with many looters being seen wearing Addidas clothes.

I think A&F might have got this one wrong. It's not as if their brand has been damaged in recent months. Jersey Shore is one of the most popular reality tv shows around. Far from making the company appear cool and aspiratonal, it looks uptight and takes itself far too seriously.

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