A social-media influencer with more than 80,000 followers picked the wrong hotel owner to ask for a freebie.
When an unnamed blogger asked Dublin hotel owner Paul Stenson, of the White Moose Café and Charleville Lodge, for a complimentary stay in exchange for promotional vlogs and Instagram updates, Stenson posted an outraged response to his company’s Facebook page.
“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?” Stenson writes in the post. “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.”
His caustic reply went viral — especially after the influencer in question, Elle Darby, outed herself in a 17-minute video complaining about Stenson’s hurtful treatment and describing him as a “dream-stealer.” She was supported by irate members of the blogging community who said it was “malicious” and “unprofessional.”
“I was embarrassed, I felt humiliated,” Darby, 22, says in the opening part of her rant. She proceeds to defend her career, concluding — in true Oprah style — “I’m just a young girl trying to live their best life.”
Now Stenson — who posted a spoof YouTube video in October mocking social media influencers like Darby — has “apologized” to Darby and “all bloggers.”
“I am kicking myself that I didn’t think about you before now,” he writes in a new Facebook post. “If each one of you is pissed off . . . there is a fair chance that you will all speak badly to your followers about us, which will result in a huge number of people hearing about our brand collectively.”
He adds, “Thank you for all your hard work, and don’t forget to continue to spread the word about our business!”