It is possible that you’re unfamiliar with Elle Darby; however, she is in fact a bonafide YouTube Star with almost 100,000 followers. She also has over 75,000 followers on Instagram.
Like many famous people, the English blogger Elle Darby apparently expects to be given free things, which sort of makes sense. After all, a lot of companies go out of their way to have their product or products used by or worn by a famous person. It gives their product “exposure”.
Arguably, Darby is famous, and as a result there are a lot of companies that would love to be associated with her.
There’s one hotel/café in Dublin, however, that doesn’t seem terribly keen on being associated with her. At least that’s how it appeared on the surface when they sent her a bill for over 5 million pounds, which is over 6 million dollars.
Darby offered to make a video about her time at the hotel. She wanted her stay of five days to be free, and in exchange the hotel would be offered “exposure”.
The owner of the aforementioned establishment—The Charleville Lodge/White Moose Cafe—shared Darby’s emailed proposal online. The owner, Paul Stenson, accused Darby of having neither dignity, nor self-respect. He actually said she has “a lot of balls”.
In his reply to her email, he suggested she pay her own way in the future—as normal people do. He said that if the staff of wherever she’s staying in the future believes her exposure would be beneficial, they might give her an upgrade to a nicer room. Approaching the matter in that fashion, he said, would be less embarrassing for her.
He also hit her with that massive bill we mentioned because of the exposure that he’s given her. The bill, which was shared online, is because of the over 110 articles written about Darby in 20 or so countries. Their little tiff definitely generated publicity for Darby, so she probably does owe him something.
I’m posting out this invoice today… pic.twitter.com/FYFONTWoOd
— White Moose Cafe (@whitemoosecafe) January 20, 2018
Stenson argued in the “bill” that, when all is said and done, the articles written could have reached over 400 million people. That seems like a bit of a stretch to me, but I suppose it is possible.
Stenson was classy enough to add VAT to Darby’s bill. It is important to pay taxes, after all!
Also, the invoice made it very clear that her payment must be in Euros, as his establishment does not accept Sterling. Also, the invoice pointed out that “mentions in videos” do not qualify as payment.
Stenson is a pretty witty guy, and he is the one who should probably be the social media star. Netflix, if you’re reading this, consider making a show about his business.
ALL BLOGGERS BANNED FROM OUR BUSINESS pic.twitter.com/DQVjAtDnW8Advertisement
— White Moose Cafe (@whitemoosecafe) January 17, 2018
Later, Stenson would go on to “ban” all bloggers from his hotel and cafe. In his social media post, he said that the sense of entitlement in the blogging community is just too strong. He actually received backlash from other bloggers for not giving Darby a free room at his hotel! He got negative reviews and everything, because not giving people free stuff is apparently a bad thing in 2018.
Obviously the bill isn’t totally legitimate, and both Darby and Stenson are benefiting from the publicity generated by their minor squabble. Darby may have wanted a free stay with her partner for a Valentine’s Day weekend, but she just ended up more famous than she already was. Stenson’s hotel is probably more popular than ever before.
Darby seems a bit hurt by everything that transpired. According to her, she reached out to Stenson with nothing but the purest of intentions. Allegedly, Stenson’s followers have sent her threats. Apparently she’s been told to go play in traffic and die.
She maintains that her offer was legitimate. In a video, she said that people over the age of 30 just don’t understand how social media works. This may or may not be the case, but she claims that a lot of bloggers would have charged Stenson to stay at his establishment.
No one knows exactly how this little situation Darby and Stenson created will end. Stenson, however, doesn’t seem too worried about it all. He’s publicly addressing the drama in the most clever of ways, to the point he even staged a fake press conference with his partner Jason.
As he put it, the situation with Darby generated a “publicity tornado”—and it cost him absolutely nothing.
Stenson was probably right to be irritated by Darby’s request; after all, when you want to stay at a hotel, you should probably expect to pay a bit of money to stay there. However, he should probably be grateful for the publicity. After all, next time you’re in Dublin, won’t you at least consider checking out an establishment that few of us had heard of just a few short days ago?