Here's the Scoop: August 24, 2011

You can’t wear that!
I guess it’s simply a difficult Situation. Especially if you’re the clothing company Abercrombie & Fitch (A&F).

The news broke last week that A&F has offered to pay Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino to not wear its clothing on the “hit” show “Jersey Shore.” In a day when “product placement” is so highly sought after, this is a very unusual move indeed.

But, the fact that I’m writing about this “situation” only emphasizes the fact that this promotional stunt is already paying handsome dividends — for A&F and for “Jersey Shore.”

I’ve never really watched this show, but I did tune in for a few minutes a while back when the whole”Snooki” craze was taking the world by storm. From what I understand, Snooki, like her cast mate “The Situation,” often exhibits bad behavior. I guess most of us do that, at times. Just not in front of TV cameras while we’re getting paid huge sums of money to “act” stupid.

Shore enough
Hey, more power to the “Jersey Shore” crew if they’ve discovered a formula for making a very nice living without the benefit of years of acting classes.

Apparently, A&F doesn’t quite look at things in the same manner. Executives think that “The Situation” lowers the “cool factor” of the company’s products. I’ve seen a photo of “The Situation” wearing a pair of bright-ish blue sweatpants with the word Abercrombie running down the leg. Trust me, no one could look cool in that outfit.

I guess the A&F decision-makers feel differently about their clothing. So, in a great publicity stunt, they offered to pay “The Situation” to stop wearing their clothes. I’m thinking the folks who came up with this promotional ploy are holding their breath that “The Situation” remains unchanged, so to speak.

Better yet, I’m wondering if there’s any way I can get involved in this type of arrangement? If my life ever becomes part of a slightly seedy reality TV show, will Eddie Bauer publicly offer me big wads of cash to wear wrinkled versions of someone else’s apparel? Let’s hope.

If you think about it, some clever criminal could build a nice little nest egg by brazenly wearing a particular brand of clothing while committing a series of crimes. I can see the media headlines now: “XYZ Clothing Company offers bandit $50,000 to Stop Wearing Its Name-Brand Sweatshirts While Holding Up Banks.” Call it supplemental income.

The irony is that the non-TV, non-criminal types among us will be paying more to wear products from the companies that are paying others not to wear their clothes, because such payments get expensive. And, well, somebody has to pick up the tab. It’s a Catch-22 “Situation.”
— Brian Sweeney