If you’re part of the blogging community, you’ve probably heard of the most recent blogger drama around a thread on twitter which accused blogger Estee Lalonde of something that all bloggers do: taking pictures.
A hotel publicly accused Lifestyle Blogger and author, Estee Lalonde, on Twitter for taking pictures in a hotel room, which she later published on her Instagram page without tagging the hotel. At a first read of the hotel management’s tweet, I was confused about what they were actually accusing Estee of.
Turns out the hotel believed Estee Lalonde should have not only tagged them in the pictures she took of her breakfast in the hotel and in her selfie, but that she also owed them (not sure what) for taking those pictures in their hotel.
I started reading the thread to see if there was something I was missing, as I couldn’t believe a company would actually accuse a blogger of such a thing. I mean, we are bloggers, we take pictures. Unless we are paid by the company to take the picture in question, we are in no way obliged to tag them; at least that’s what I thought.
So scrolling down a few tweets later, I read that the hotel has done some research of their own, and it turns out that one of the brands tagged by Estee in one of the pictures was Lancôme, for who apparently she is an ambassador.
That’s when my inner judge Judy kicks in, and I start to wonder whether the hotel management actually has a case here or not.
On my quest to gathering further information, I find out that Este actually paid for the hotel room herself, making her a paying customer, so was in no way sponsored by the hotel for her stay. This for me was more than enough to conclude that Estee was in no way obliged to tag the hotel. Of course, it would have been nice if she had, but that’s as far as it goes for me.
So then I moved on to trying to discover whether the pictures in question were in a paid partnership with the brands tagged in the pictures. Again, no sign of the pictures or products being sponsored.
It seems then that Estee’s pictures were simply pictures that a private customer of the hotel took of herself and of her breakfast and which she later decided to post on her social media.
In my opinion, the accusations were absurd and had no real ground to build a case on, but actually made the hotel look really bad for also discosing were Estee had spent her weekend. But in the hotel’s opinion, Estee was indeed working during her stay in their hotel and basically used their hotel as a workspace.
Estee did not ‘#ad’ in her pictures, which means the pictures were not sponsored by the brands tagged, so what is left to understand is whether being an ambassador for a brand means you get paid for the pictures you post even when you haven’t been asked to post them. I think not, but I may be mistaken.
The case would have been different if ‘The Reading Rooms’ (the hotel in question), had offered Estee a free stay in one of their rooms, and she had used it to promote other brands.
However, as this was not the case, the social media world found the hotel’s accusations absurd.
Since then, the hotel management has apologized for calling out Estee on this matter, and seem to have a better understanding of how social media influencers actually work. However, I hope they live by the motto ‘ bad publicity is better than no publicity’ as the backlash from their accusations was pretty harsh.
What do you think about this story?
Let me know by leaving a comment down below.