The Situation takes Abercrombie to court

Abercrombie & Fitch’s has another reason to kick itself in acid-washed bluejeans. The company’s summertime ploy for attention is now headed to court.

In a marketing stunt, the retailer sent a press release to multiple media outlets that requested Jersey Shore reality TV star, The Situation, to refrain from wearing A&F clothing in public.

However, customers saw right through the cheap ploy. While the stunt scored Abercrombie plenty of buzz, it wasn’t the good kind. The company’s stock plummeted. And now, Abercrombie’s facing a legal situation from… er… The Situation.

Michael “The Situation” Sorrentino is suing the retailer for $4 million. The star filed his complaint in a Florida federal court yesterday. Sorrentino claims the publicity stunt, which would’ve offered him a settlement to stop wearing Abercrombie clothes, was fictional.

The lawsuit states: “Starting in August 2011, Defendant embarked on a grand, worldwide advertising campaign using Sorrentino’s name, image and likeness to create brand awareness for its products by falsely claiming that Defendant had offered money to Sorrentino if he would stop wearing Defendant’s goods.”

Surely this new wrinkle is generating some fresh buzz for Abercrombie. The topic is enjoying a Twitter traffic surge, according to statistics tracker Topsy. But only half the chatter is about the lawsuit. The other half focuses on Abercrombie’s plunging profit margins.

“Sorry, Abercrombie & Fitch ($ANF) — your well-toned six-pack can’t compensate for turmoil in Europe,” tweeted @themotleyfool.

Perhaps one positive came out of the company’s ill-timed publicity stunt: Its eventual bankruptcy won’t go unnoticed.

Photo by MalB

Lauren Rae Orsini

Lauren Rae Orsini

Lauren Rae Orsini is a web culture reporter who specializes in anime and the business of fandom. Her work has been published by Forbes and Business Insider.