A beach resort in the Philippines has called out “self-proclaimed” influencers asking for free stays, suggesting they “try to actually work” instead.
“Help out there,” read the message. “We kindly would like to announce that White Banana is not interested to ‘collaborate’ with self-proclaimed ‘influencers’.
“And we would like to suggest to try another way to eat, drink or sleep for free.
“Or try to actually work.”
The beach club, comprised of a cocktail bar, restaurant specialising in healthy pescatarian, vegetarian and vegan dishes, and luxury dorms, received thousands of comments and reactions in response to the post.
It sparked debate, with some agreeing with the message’s sentiment. “Here is a new synonym for the word influencer,” commented Joey Sanders Rocha. “It’s Free Loader.”
Meanwhile, other bloggers and social media influencers stepped up to defend their chosen profession.
“I’m a model by profession and I do micro-blogs as a sideline,” said Geng Maderazo.
“Creating content is a ton of effort. I’m having fun, yes, but to be a legit influencer or blogger, it takes courage and hard work.”
She added: “I am not against this post or anyone, but I wish we didn’t call people names. If they are an aspiring influencer, I hope we don’t kill their dreams and discourage them because of your words.”
Dianne Blaise agreed, writing: “In defense of ‘instagram influencers’: many of them actually work really, really hard. I’m not an influencer, but I personally know a few famous Filipino IG influencers and they work their asses off to give their followers the best content.”
Following the huge response to the original post, the beach made clear it was not anti-influencer – as long as they’re the real deal.
“We want to clarify that we are not against INFLUENCERS,” said a follow-up post.
“Just against freeloaders.
“A REAL influencer is called as such by the rest, he does not address him/herself as an influencer. They are bloggers. We have actually collaborated with a few of them, in different terms and conditions, and we support them.
“There are real influencers that we will contact and pay or offer. But they’ve never contacted us, besides the very beginning, as they don’t need us. We need them.”
Banana Beach Club Siargao opened in May 2018 on Tuason Beach on Siargao, an island in the south-eastern Philippines.
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