Hotel owner bans 'vloggers' after free stay request

Elle Darby was blasted for asking for free accommodation in return for publicity

A hotel in Dublin publicly posted email messages from a YouTuber asking for a complimentary stay at a hotel, which in return she would grant the establishment exposure on her channel and instagram.

A hotel in Dublin, Ireland has chose to ban bloggers and "social media influencers" after its initial response to one asking for free accommodation resulted in a much-publicized back and forth on social media.

Earlier this week, British vlogger Elle Darby sent The Charleville Lodge Hotel in Dublin an email asking for free accommodation in return for YouTube videos, Instagram stories and a review, she probably didn't expect quite so brutal a response.

"Perhaps if you went out and got real jobs you'd be able to pay for goods and services like everybody else".

Hotel manager Paul Stenson, who is also in charge of The White Moose Cafe, posted her email on Facebook with his savage reply.

"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?..."

"The waiters who serve you breakfast?"

Sitting down and working out "who you are willing to start a relationship with" is important, even if your policy is to never give out free products to influencers, she says.

Emotions run high when it comes to influencers asking for free products, says Pollard, but the biggest problem for businesses of all sizes is they don't know what they want out of influencers in the first place.

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She did so with a 17-minute video titled "i was exposed (SO embarrassing)", in which she bemoans the unfairness of the response and says she's the victim of internet bullying.

Speaking exclusively to Newsbeat, Elle says the backlash has exposed her to a "tidal wave of hate". "As a 22-year-old girl, who's running her own business from her home, don't feel like I did anything wrong".

The Independent has reached out to Elle Darby for comment. The clip amassed almost 240,000 views at the time of writing.

Social media user Vic Moxie Croughan posted, "This is really tacky". He began the response by taking a dig at the blogger's, what appears to be, unpersonalized email.

The Irish Times reports the White Moose café has never been afraid to use controversy to get coverage, with the business previously also banning vegans.

He wrote: "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".

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

Finally, on The White Moose Cafe Snapchat, Stenson said the controversy "puts into question the authenticity of influencer marketing", because "She would have spoken nicely about the hotel only because she was getting it for free".

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