This month influencer Chloe Roberts, with 128,000 followers on Instagram, successfully sued Melbourne cafe Legacy for $1,676. This case arose after the owner of Legacy agreed to pay Roberts $300/post, but failed to pay when Roberts archived them a week after publishing. Owner Katsiogiannis claims that this was not part of their agreement, but was still ordered by the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) to pay up.
Roberts claimed that this was done to avoid clogging up her feed, and to keep her profile profitable. Unless you’re Kim Kardashion, I personally think archiving posts after a week is an obvious breach of contract.
Businesses held at ransom:
Okay, so whether or not you think that was a fair trial, listen to this. Perth restaurant owners revealed that Influencers are holding them at ransom – demanding free food in return for the possibility of a post or mention.
Many of these businesses have been forced to provide influencers with free food, to avoid negative publicity or reviews. One cafe owner, Lara Wolinski (The Sparrow’s Nest cafe in Perth) admits she’s getting 3-4 requests a week from influencers – and has never turned one down!
This is a strange phenomenon:
This is a strange phenomenon, specifically for Australian hospitality businesses. Influencers and UGC (User Generated Content) are coming to a strange meeting point, where influencers are threatening a brand’s UCG (i.e. reviews) to eat free food (in return for Influencer content).
- Australian hospitality retailers are losing trust with influencers, as they gain a reputation of being demanding and pushy.
- This media attention continues to decrease Influencer credibility, making it questionable whether such cafes will gain any positive awareness from these kind of posts.
Do you think influencers are losing their credibility left, right and centre? Is this simply the icing on the cake?