Hotel Bans Influencers After YouTuber Proposes Free Stay In Exchange For Publicity

Galtero Lara
Enero 20, 2018

Elle Darby, a lifestyle vlogger with 90,000 YouTube subscribers and 76,000 followers on Instagram, emailed the hotel with the proposition, stating that she meant to visit on Valentine's Day weekend, and would showcase the hotel on her social channels in exchange for a free stay - an arrangement that Darby says she had successfully organized with other hotels in the past, per The Independent. "It takes a lot of balls to send an email like that, if not much self-respect and dignity", he said.

Stenson then asks, "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?"

One day after Darby's video was posted, The White Moose Cafe took to Facebook once more to announce a new blanket ban on bloggers.

"P.S. The answer is no".

Just in case you weren't sure of his stance, Paul continues: "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". Who is going to pay the housekeepers who clean your room?

In the video, an actress pretending to be an influencer says, "How did I get all these followers, you ask?"

Continuing, she says, "Once you build up the following of gullible peasants, next comes the free stuff".

While the blogger in question remained nameless in Stenson's post, she has since been identified as Elle Darby after she posted a video to her Youtube channel defending her request.

"As a 22-year-old girl, who's running her own business from her own home, I don't feel like I did anything wrong", Darby states in the video.

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"I made a decision to contact some hotels, asking if they would like to collaborate and basically I go visit them in the hotel, I feature them on vlogs, I put them on my Instagram, I talk about the hotel, I write a review, whatever, in return for a discounted or complimentary stay".

"I was angry, I was sad, I was upset, I was anxious, I was embarrassed, I felt humiliated", she added.

But the White Moose Cafe appears to have faced a counterblast of its own, with accusations of bullying and callously exploiting the young woman for its own publicity.

"I had gone to this certain hotel and emailed them politely offering them a business idea, a business proposal, a collaboration idea with nothing but the purest intentions. Considering how many brands expect bloggers to work for free as the industry standard, sending an email like this is not unusual".

The next salvo was sacked by the White Moose.

The post states that "the sense of entitlement in is too strong in the blogging community" and "we never thought we would be inundated with negative reviews for the simple reason that somebody was required to pay for services rendered".

"'If any of you attempt to enter our premises from now on, you will be ejected".

On The White Moon Cafe's profile on Snapchat, Stenson, who is now on a trip to Amsterdam with his partner, said the issue "puts into question the authenticity of influencer marketing".

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