21.01 2018 12:25h

Dublin Hotel Bans Social Media Influencers

They've made it clear they aren't interested in collaborations
Influencer Marketing, Influencer, Instagram, YouTube, Youtuber

Opportunists come in all shapes and sizes, and sometimes they even own luxury boutique hotels.

Last week Dublin hotelier Paul Stenson officially banned social media influencers from his properties.


Because British YouTuber Elle Darby sent him an email, asking if he would be interested in a collaboration between his hotel and her YouTube channel.

After all, that's what influencers do.

In a recently uploaded YouTube video, 22-year-old Darby said she was planning an upcoming trip to the Republic of Ireland with her partner in February.

As she is a lifestyle influencer (with 92, 000 subscribers on her YouTube channel and 83, 400 followers on Instagram), she reached out to a number of hotels in Dublin.

“I decided to contact some hotels, asking if they would like to collaborate,” Darby said, in the video. She then goes on to explain how a collaboration between a hotel and influencer work, and how it benefits all parties involved in the deal.

“Basically . . . I stay 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,” she said. "Because that same hotel would not be able to go to a magazine, or to a billboard, or to a television advert, for a free review in something that could potentially bring them a lot of business."

Seems fair.

Stenson, who owns one of the hotels Darby approached, replied by to Darby's proposal by posting a screenshot of her email (along with his snarky reply) on his Facebook Page.

“It takes a lot of balls to send an email like that, if not much self-respect and dignity,” Stenson said. "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?"

Um, Excuse me?!?!  If you aren't interested, just politely say no thank you!

The post was shared by thousands and Darby soon found herself bombarded by nasty tweets from Stenson's supporters. She chronicles the cyberbullying experience on her channel, explaining how she was called a “disgusting freeloader” and other rudes names on Twitter.

Darby states that she was only trying to run her own small business as an influencer and wanted to raise awareness surrounding the hotel. She felt that a complimentary stay or discounted rate would be fair, in exchange for providing social media exposure to Stenson's businesses.

Little did she known, Stenson has it out for bloggers and isn't scared of controversy.

I think our new container looks well. Do you?

A post shared by White Moose Cafe (@whitemoosecafe) on

Stenson is no stranger to pulling stunts, in order to obtain media exposure for his businesses. In the past he has angered breastfeeding mums, vegans and people with gluten intolerances.

We don’t believe for one moment that Stenson is clueless about the value of social media exposure. He 100% understands that publically shutting down an influencer will attract attention of all kinds to his businesses' social media accounts.

Therefore, Stenson is keen for any opportunity to stir the pot. And Darby’s recent outreach presented him with a new chance to jump into the limelight.

Stenson has been directing media queries to his Snapchat for his official “comment” on #bloggergate (as the incident is now known), and announced a t-shirt slogan competition on his Facebook Page yesterday.

The winning prize? A free night's stay at Stenson's hotel.

This isn’t the first time an Irish establishment has openly shared hostile feelings towards bloggers and influencers on social media.

Back in September, Campagne restaurant in Kilkenny posted an image on Twitter of an email from a vegan blogger. The blogger had reached out, asking the restaurant if it would consider a free meal in exchange for social media exposure.

What are your thoughts on #bloggergate? Let us know in the comments below.


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