Abercrombie and Fitch seeks end to Jersey Shore links

image captionThe cast, including Mr Sorrentino, seated at centre, drink through much of the show

US clothing brand Abercrombie and Fitch has offered to pay the rowdy, hard-partying cast of MTV reality show The Jersey Shore not to wear its clothes.

The company said their association with the clothing was "contrary to the aspirational nature of our brand".

It singled out Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino, saying he could cause "significant damage to our image".

The show portrays the loud, hedonistic, mostly Italian-American cast carousing in the US state of New Jersey.

The programme's fourth season, which followed the cast to Italy, premiered this month on MTV.

"We are deeply concerned that Mr Sorrentino's association with our brand could cause significant damage to our image," the company said in a statement.

"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."

'Essence of privilege'

The company, which also sells clothing under the surfing-themed brand Hollister and the Australian-themed underwear brand Gilly Hicks, operates more than 1,000 stores in North America, Europe (including 21 in the UK as of 18 March) and Japan.

Known for the squeaky-clean, all-American look of its models, the company trades on the New York Stock Exchange and had a turnover of $3.5bn (£2.1bn) in 2010.

In investor materials, the company describes its flagship Abercrombie and Fitch brand as "rooted in East Coast traditions and Ivy League heritage" and "the essence of privilege and casual luxury".

The company said in a statement it had offered "a substantial payment" to Mr Sorrentino and the television show's producers to have Mr Sorrentino wear another clothing brand.

It has also extended the offer to the other cast members, and was "urgently" awaiting a response.

MTV did not immediately comment on the company's offer.

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