A Dublin businessman is continuing his feud with a ‘social media influencer’ and has sent her a bill for €4.3m.
Paul Stenson, who owns the White Moose Café and Charleville Hotel Lodge in Dublin, says the bill is for all the publicity he has generated for 22-year-old beauty and lifestyle vlogger Elle Darby.
The feud began when Stenson lost his rag with online bloggers and vloggers contacting him to ask for a free stay at his hotel in exchange for exposure across their social media pages.
He shared an email he received from Darby asking for a free stay but blocked out her name from his post.
He wrote: “It takes a lot of balls to send an email like that, if not much self-respect and dignity.
“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?”
However, 22-year-old Darby outed herself as the vlogger after some people realised it was her and started to attack and abuse her online.
She said: “I feel disgusting having to say this. As a 22-year-old girl, who’s running her own business from her home, I don’t feel like I did anything wrong.
“These were all 30 years plus people internet bullying a 22-year-old girl who is just trying to run her own business and raise awareness of what appeared to be a stunning Dublin hotel.”
These comments lead to Stenson being attacked by online trolls and receiving a rush of negative reviews of his hotel. He responded by issuing a ban on all social media influencers.
The story went viral and made the news in several countries. A PR agency estimated that over 100 articles were written about the spat (not including follow up articles). This amounted to a potential audience of 450 million people.
They estimated that the column inches dedicated to the story was worth around €4.3m in advertising.
It is a figure that wasn’t lost on Stenson who has now sent Darby a €4.3m bill for the advertising he has generated for her.
I’m posting out this invoice today… pic.twitter.com/FYFONTWoOd
— White Moose Cafe (@whitemoosecafe) 20 January 2018
He has also capitalised on the saga by launching a range of T-shirts with slogans such as ‘I demanded freebies at the White Moose Café and all I got was this lousy T-shirt’ and ‘I got exposed by White Moose’.
— White Moose Cafe (@whitemoosecafe) 22 January 2018
He has condemned the trolls who have attacked Darby online saying: “I don’t condone these comments and I think it’s time people laid off her. Insult me all you like but leave the girl alone. She f***ed up. She’s learnt her lesson. The end.”
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Written by Michael Kehoe @michaelcalling