Genelle Levy
January 19, 2018 11:57 am
The White Moon Cafe / www.facebook.com

So many of us love following the activities of Instagram influencers around the globe, but this trend isn’t good news for everybody. A Dublin hotel banned all bloggers and social media influencers after a negative encounter with U.K.-based Instagram and YouTube personality Elle Darby.

In an email sent to White Moose Cafe and Charleville Lodge owner Paul Stenson on January 16th, Darby requested a free five-night stay in return for giving the hotel free publicity, explaining that her videos and Instagram posts could generate more business for the hotel. In her email, Darby wrote: “Last year I worked with Universal Orlando in Florida and it’s been amazing for them!”

Darby, who is 22 years old and specializes in beauty, lifestyle, and fitness has over 87,000 YouTube subscribers and 76,000 Instagram followers. Stenson, however, was not pleased. He took to Facebook, posting Darby’s email with a note that read:

Although Stenson blacked out Darby’s name and email, online users were quick to figure out who the influencer in question was, and she claims “hundreds” of users left malicious comments on her Instagram feed, calling her “disgusting” and a “freeloader.” In response, Darby took to YouTube, posting a 17-minute response defending herself. The video has amassed over 271,324 views.

The White Moose Cafe and Charleville Lodge then also received backlash from some of Darby’s fans, leading Stenson to ban all bloggers and influencers from his hotel.

“I have taken the decision to ban all bloggers from our hotel and cafe,” Stenson wrote on the hotel’s Facebook page. “The sense of entitlement is just too strong in the blogging community and the nastiness, hissy fits and general hate displayed after one of your members was not granted her request for a freebie is giving your whole industry a bad name.”

Stenson went on to explain that he did not reveal Darby’s identity but that she independently went on to make the decision to post a video about how she was “exposed” with “malicious intent.” He continued his post by saying “this kind of victimization is very prevalent in the blogging industry, and is in keeping with their general modus operandi of wanting everything for nothing.”

At the end of the day, we can honestly see where both parties are coming from (though we definitely take issue with several of Stenson’s snider comments — especially the insinuation that influencers and those in media don’t have “real” jobs).

As much as we understand a hotel owner not feeling comfortable offering his staff’s hard work and services for free, exchanges such as these (free accommodations for free publicity) are not uncommon in our digital world. Many might argue that exposure on a popular influencer’s social media feed could lead to increased business overall, truly making it a win-win.

What are your thoughts?

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