Retailer Doesn't Like What It Sees On 'Jersey Shore '

Abercrombie and Fitch is offering to pay one of the stars of MTV's Jersey Shore program to not wear its clothing in public. The company says Michael "The Situation" Sorrentino's image is contrary to the image it wants to cultivate.

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RENEE MONTAGNE, host:

One stock listed on the S&P 500 Index is Abercrombie & Fitch. Its stock dropped almost nine percent yesterday. That was the first trading session after the company made a very public attempt to take back its image from a proudly tacky reality star.

NPR's Karen Grigsby Bates explains the situation.

KAREN GRIGSBY BATES: For several seasons, America has been alternately fascinated with and appalled by "The Jersey Shore," a MTV series about a group of friends who spend their time flirting, drinking and frequently brawling in the Garden State. The series is now enough a part of pop culture that cast members were mentioned at the White House Correspondents' Dinner last year.

(Soundbite of speech)

President BARACK OBAMA: This next provision is called The Jersey Shore-Up. It reads: The following individuals shall be excluded from the Indoor Tanning Tax within this bill.

(Soundbite of laughter)

President OBAMA: Snooki, JWoww, The Situation and House Minority Leader John Boehner.

(Soundbite of laughter)

BATES: But executives at Abercrombie & Fitch weren't laughing when they spotted The Situation - given name, Mike Sorrentino - in a pair of lime-green sweats emblazoned with Abercrombie's initials. So the once-venerable sporting goods supplier turned teen sportswear provider made him an offer they hope he won't refuse. The company is offering to pay him to not wear its clothes. In a statement it wrote: We believe this association is contrary to the aspirational nature of our brand - despite the fact that Abercrombie's actually once marketed a T with The Fitchuation on the front. Wonder who inspired that?

Karen Grigsby Bates, NPR News.

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