Depending on who you ask, influencers are either the future of marketing or the scourge of marketing.
One thing’s for sure, though, they’re fun to take the piss out of.
Take for example 22-year-old YouTuber Elle Darby, who contacted the owner of a Dublin-based cafe and hotel asking for a trade exchange.
We found this story on Huff Post SA, but of course it’s over on social media that the punches are thrown.
Here’s the email she sent to Paul Stenson, who redacted some key details and posted to The White Moose Cafe’s Facebook page:
Look, that’s kind of standard for the industry, but it’s safe to say Paul wasn’t buying into the concept.
His response was a zinger:
Dear Social Influencer (I know your name but apparently it’s not important to use names),
Thank you for your email looking for free accommodation in return for exposure. It takes a lot of balls to send an email like that, if not much self-respect and dignity.
If I let you stay here in return for a feature in your video, who is going to pay the staff who look after you? Who is going to pay the housekeepers who clean your room? The waiters who serve you breakfast? The receptionist who checks you in? Who is going to pay for the light and heat you use during your stay? The laundering of your bed sheets? The water rates? Maybe I should tell my staff they will be featured in your video in lieu of receiving payment for work carried out while you’re in residence?
Lucky for us, we too have a significant social media following. We have 186k followers on our two Facebook pages, an estimated 80k on our Snapchat, 32k on Instagram and a paltry 12k on our Twitter, but Jesus Christ, I would never in a million years ask anyone for anything for free. I also blog a bit (www.paulvstenson.com), which as far as I’m aware is another way of saying “write stuff on the internet”. The above stats do not make me any better than anyone else or afford me the right to not pay for something everyone else has to pay for.
In future, I’d advise you to offer to pay your way like everyone else, and if the hotel in question believes your coverage will help them, maybe they’ll give you a complimentary upgrade to a suite. This would show more self-respect on your part and, let’s face it, it would be less embarrassing for you…
P.S. The answer is no.
Damn, apply cold water directly to the burn.
Of course YouTuber Elle wasn’t going to let this one slide, capitalising on the free publicity to put together a 17-minute video on her channel.
For your sanity, don’t watch it, but if you must and you make it further than 20 seconds in you’re a more tolerant human than I am:
I don’t want to be nasty, so we’ll move onto the third act of this drama.
Following a backlash from many on social media, who criticised him for being too harsh, Paul decided to ban all bloggers from his business.
He did so with his customary flair in this Facebook post:
Looks like there won’t be a red carpet rolled out, then.
Once again, how can you not love the Irish?
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