A B&B has apologised after accusing Estée Lalonde of using one of its rooms for commercial purposes.
Estée Lalonde was called out by the B&B’s owners for taking Instagram pictures in one of their rooms without crediting the location or having a commercial shooting agreement.
The Reading Rooms, a boutique bed-and-breakfast in Margate, claimed that Estée used one of their rooms to make advertisements for brands including Lancôme, for which she is a brand ambassador.
Estée confirmed on Twitter that she was not paid for the posts, adding that “just because you tag a brand doesn’t make something an ad”.
— Estée Lalonde (@EsteeLalonde) November 12, 2017
The Reading Rooms, however, consulted the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) regarding whether a brand ambassador posting content online and tagging the brand could be seen as an advert, therefore falling under a commercial use of their room. “PRing brands you have a working relationship with and the brand co-opting it is prob an #ad according to @ASA_UK,” the B&B claimed on Twitter.
“I was just on a weekend holiday,” Estée explained in a series of tweets. “The irony about this whole thing is that I promote small businesses all the time but in this case they removed all chances of that due to their behaviour.”
The B&B has since apologised, adding that “we have a thing to learn about the growing world of influencer marketing”.
We apologise @EsteeLalonde. It seems we have a thing to learn about the growing world of influencer marketing. We’ll post something for comments/ feedback
— The Reading Rooms (@TheRRMargate) November 22, 2017
Member of the community shared their thoughts on the subject.
“Estee paid to stay here,” Grace Victory commented on Twitter. “She is in no way obliged to advertise, tag, or tell her followers where she is staying.”
this is so embarrassing. It's a hotel selfie. She paid to stay here! You can't expect all "influencers" to tag your business, that's not how it works. Stop throwing your toys out the pram because you didn't get tagged jeez
— dodie (@doddleoddle) November 22, 2017
Lily Melrose added: “Did you think maybe think she didn’t want her location to be revealed to her audience? She paid for her room and stay just because she’s an influencer doesn’t mean she has to promote you.”
This uproar isn't just about your accusations, but also your tone and approach to handling the misunderstanding. Awful, awful PR on your part.
— Lucy Moon 🌻 (@iamnotlucymoon) November 22, 2017
The ASA’s guidelines for social media state: “There are some instances in which the ASA will consider that user-generated content (UGC), such as social media posts […] created by private individuals, is subject to the CAP Code.
“Most commonly this will occur when content is ‘adopted and incorporated’ into a marketer’s own marketing communications. For example, if the marketer requests content from users and then places that content on their social media channel. But, ‘adopting and incorporating’ can also include retweeting, commenting on, or even simply ‘liking’ a user’s post.”
This is the most entertaining tea I’ve read online in ages
— Evan Edinger (@EvanEdinger) November 22, 2017