Dear Jersey Shore—please don’t wear our brands

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Before I get into anything that’s creating an association between MTV’s Jersey Shore, and myself, I feel the need to brief you on a few things:

1) I am from New Jersey—a lovely part of Essex County, which is hardly the area where Snooki and Vinny like to fist-pump.

2) When the show first came out, I refused to watch it. I thought it was giving my state a bad name and didn’t want to have anything to do with all that hair gel.

3) Once Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi was featured in the New York Times Style section, the show reached “cultural phenomenon” status. Then I had to tune in. How could I miss a cultural phenomenon!

Now that you’ve been briefed, let’s get on with it.

High-end brands don’t think the Jersey Shore crew is “good enough”

It was made public this week that American clothing brand Abercrombie & Fitch, politely asked Jersey Shore cast member, Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino, not to wear its clothes. A&F said, “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.” This seems a bit embarrassing, no?

This actually isn’t the first time that a company has tried to stay away from the gang. Many luxury brands have distanced themselves in a similar fashion. When Snooki began toting a variety of high-end purses, journalists were surprised. Glamour Magazine says major fashion houses have been aggressively sending things to Snooki. The catch is, however, that they are sending her their competitor’s bags. They’re trying to keep their bags out of her tan little hands.

Is the brand damaged because these retailers aren’t playing nice in the sand box?

The Jersey Shore has been more successful than anyone could have imagined. The season 4 premier aired a couple weeks ago and drew in more than 8.8 million viewers. On top of that, Snooki is now making $100k an episode. Most of the cast members also have their own endorsements. Some, like Snooki’s partnership with Pistachios, may not make sense. But others, like Ronnie’s deal with Xenadrine weight loss supplement and my personal favorite, Mike’s GTL kit (gym, tan, laundry), are perfect.

I’m confident the Jersey Shore cast members will do just fine without the overpriced A&F sweatpants and Louis Vuitton luggage. Being from New Jersey, I can assure you; there are enough other Ed Hardy devotees in muscle tees (who can barely form a grammatically correct sentence)—that will admire any brand that partners with the Jersey Shore crew.

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