Charleville Lodge Hotel has come under fire for publicising its rude response to a social media influencer’s friendly attempt to connect.
The friendly message from the influencer – who remains unnamed – provided links to her extensive YouTube and Instagram following, and an offer to promote the “stunning hotel” on these channels in exchange for free accommodation. This is something she’d done before, with Universal Orlando in Florida with great results for both parties.
But Paul Stenson, the hotel manager, was having none of it. He posted her message on the company’s Facebook page, after blacking out the influencer’s name and details, along with a nasty public response:
“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 . . . 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?
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 . . .
P.S. The answer is no.”
The post raked in five thousand reactions on Facebook and one thousand comments. Some took the opportunity to remind Stenson that social media influencers have a huge reach and are one of the fastest growing areas of marketing. Others vowed to boycott the business, saying the stunt was “vile”, “uncalled for”, “disrespectful” and “unprofessional”, professing that the post will do the hotel more bad than good.
Unfortunately a selection of
depressed middle aged white people users very much supported Stenson’s rude response. “I’m sick of fame-hungry Instagram wannabe famous work-dodgers begging for free shit!” was among the politest of these.
As one user commented: “a reply of ‘thanks but no thanks’ would have sufficed.”
This is not the first time Paul Stenson has caused controversy on his social media management. Stenson, who also manages Dublin’s White Moose Café, (voted best Café in Ireland in 2016 by its staff) has stirred trouble via online posts threatening to spike screaming babies’ juice with Valium and criticising vegans:
“Attention Vegans: Please do not waltz into our café with no notice and look at us like we have ten heads when you realise that there aren’t 50,000 items on our menu that suit your idiosyncratic dietary requirements. Our chef will be more than happy to prepare a number of dishes for you but a little heads up in advance would be appreciated.”
Stenson has become notorious for his blunt openness and sense of humour that seems to generate far more offence than laughter. Was his criticism of the influencer another attempt at a joke? It’s hard to tell, but either way a public internet attack is downright inappropriate.