Published: 2018-01-20 13:49
Last Updated: 2018-01-20 18:13
A Dublin hotel has banned “social media influencers” from staying at the hotel , after a 22-year-old YouTuber asked for a five-night free stay, and received a public rejection for her request, the UK-based The Independent newspaper reported.
The UK-based social media influencer Elle Darby, with 87,000 YouTube subscribers and 76,000 Instagram followers, sent an e-mail to the owner of The White Moose Café, Paul Stenson, asking if he was interested in a “possible collaboration.” She wanted to stay at the hotel for free, and offered to advertise for the hotel on her personal accounts on social media as a pay back.
Darby wrote in her e-mail the following:
“My partner and I are planning to come to Dublin for an early Valentine’s Day weekend from Feb 8th to 12th to explore the area.
“As I was searching for places to stay, I came across your stunning hotel and would love to feature you in my YouTube videos/dedicated Instagram stories/posts to bring traffic to your hotel and recommend others to book up in return for free accommodation.”The owner of the hotel didn’t only reject her request, but made a screenshot for her e-mail and his harsh response to her, and posted this on the hotel official Facebook page. He replied saying:
“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 a 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 owner ended the e-mail saying, “P.S. The answer is no.”
Darby went shopping after she sent the e-mail, couple of hours later, she was surprised with tens of mentions for her name on Twitter website; she later figured out that her e-mail went public and that she was being exposed to a wave of criticism and insults.
She responded with a 17-minute video saying, “I was exposed (so embarrassing), the influencer emotionally insists she got in contact with the owner of the hotel with “nothing but the purest intentions” before going on:
“As a 22-year-old girl, who’s running her own business from her home, I don’t feel like I did anything wrong.”
People on social media varied between those sympathizing with Darby, and those attacking her as being a member of a controversial community of what’s identified as “social media influencers” who are sometimes seen as opportunists and liars. The story even went viral in the Middle East due to the constant criticism social media stars face there due to honesty and transparency concerns.