The influencer – brand relationship is created through paid projects, but the project only comes alive if the influencer embraces the motto and the principles of the brand. If the brand is selling tobacco and the influencer is creating health content, they might not work together at all. However, this is not the only type of disagreement between the two. Sometimes one criticises the other in a way that the other party responds even harsher, and this creates the perfect opportunity for magazine & chit chat channels to actually bash the two, which is probably not something either of them want.
But how should brands and influencers take the criticism of one another and respond in a respectful manner so that they don’t lose any respect for themselves?
Let’s look at 2 incidents that happened years apart, but in the same context. The first one is the The White Moose Cafe incident that happened in 2018. To explain shortly, an influencer wanted a free stay in exchange for featuring the hotel in her Youtube videos and Instagram posts and stories. The Dublin Hotel refused the offer in a public way, kind of humiliating the influencer.
Dear Social Influencer (I know your name but apparently it’s not important to use names),
Thank you for your email…
The hotel and the influencer both received praise and criticism on their behaviour towards each other. Some other influencers supported the influencer as she would give them a higher traffic rate than that of traditional marketing types, but she was also criticised on how she worded the e-mail, as she could have been more professional rather than try to get everything free. She also shared a YouTube video talking about how she was exposed even though the hotel didn’t mention her name in the screenshots. The hotel was shamed too, for exposing and humiliating an influencer, it is in the influencer’s nature to reach out to businesses for possible collaborations.
The second incident happened just a few days ago, when influencer Buket Güler (@pukkfashion) shared an Instagram story about Grand Yazıcı Hotel in Uludag talking about her unsatisfactory experience and how she will not choose to stay there anymore. She also mentioned the rusty situation of the hotel and how neglected the ski slopes were. The hotel didn’t hold back on their response, and claimed Buket refused to pay for her accommodation & services saying she was an influencer and most hotels allowed her to stay for free in exchange for exposure. When she was denied her request, she shared the story about the hotel. The two came into an agreement afterwards, but it’s still an embarrassment for both parties.
The problem with these incidents is that neither the brand nor the influencer has the right to talk badly about each other in a way that affects their reputations without trying to make it work between the two of them. Taking this into public space of course creates more exposure and maybe even boosts up the engagement but this type of communication problems also create a prejudice towards the brand and the influencer that they might suffer from.
Our recommendation for situations like this is to not take it to the public unless it is something that can not be resolved privately. And even if it is not solved in private but is worth taking to the court, then it is better to keep it fully private as court cases don’t go public in most situations. If you are unhappy with a brand, mention this to them in person, send them an e-mail, or rate them on the hotel website instead of taking it to social media to urge your “fans” to attack the brand. And if you are unhappy with an influencer, simply stop providing service to them.
Let us know what you think about this situation & who is right. We are waiting on our socials!