​Hotel Bans YouTubers And Bloggers After Social Media Star Asks For Freebie

A luxury Dublin hotel has banned YouTubers and the Insta-famous, after a 'social media influencer' asked to for a free five-night stay.

UK-based YouTuber Elle Darby, who has 87,000 YouTube subscribers and 76,000 Instagram followers, got in touch with The White Moose Café in Dublin asking about a 'possible collaboration' - i.e. one big ol' freebie.

"I work as a social media influencer, mainly lifestyle, beauty & travel based," Darby wrote, also quoting her social media reach.

"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."

Darby also explained that she'd managed to arrange a similar 'collaboration' with Universal Orlando in Florida last year, which she said had been 'amazing for them'.

The hotel's owner, Paul Stenson, responded to Darby - but decided to do so publicly, taking to The White Moose's Facebook page.

In the post, Stenson said that it takes 'a lot of balls' to send an email like that, but 'not much self-respect and dignity'.

He continued: "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? 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 laundering of your bed sheets? The water rates? 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?

"Lucky for us, we too have a significant social media following. We have 186k followers on our two Facebook pages, an estimated 80k on our Snapchat, 32k on Instagram and a paltry 12k on our Twitter, but Jesus Christ, I would never in a million years ask anyone for anything for free."

He signs the post off by saying: "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.

"This would show more self-respect on your part and, let's face it, it would be less embarrassing for you."

However, Stenson has also faced a fair bit of backlash for the post, with Facebook users branding the move 'tacky', 'unprofessional' and 'childish' - one even adding: "You have probably created more damage for your business than good by doing this."

Featured Image Credit: Elle Darby / YouTube

Jess Hardiman

Jess Hardiman is a journalist who graduated from Manchester University with a BA in Film Studies, English Language and Literature, and has previously worked for Time Out and The Skinny among others.

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