Company Tells Instagram Influencers to Take a Hike and 'Try to Actually Work'

Company Tells Instagram Influencers to Take a Hike and 'Try to Actually Work'

Fed up with Instagram "influencers" looking for free vacation stays, drinks, and more, the owner of a beach club in the Philippines took to Facebook to tell influencers to quit bothering him and to "try to actually work."

Gianlucca Casaccia is the owner of the White Banana Beach Club in the Philippines. Casaccia runs the club with his wife, and after opening in May, he reports they've received more than 100 inquiries from "influencers" requesting free food, drinks, and accommodations in exchange for exposure. Casaccia told the New York Times that he found these requests "disrespectful" and was particularly perplexed by the fact that many of those contacting him had small followings — some less than 2,000. This led him to create the Facebook post below:

The post ended up gaining quite a bit of traction and sparked some spirited debate between those who see influencers as offering something of worth to business owners to promote their brand and those who see them as people trying to get something for free. This eventually prompted Casaccia to clarify that he sees value in legitimate influencers with widespread audiences, but that he was tired of being contacted by "wannabe freeloaders."

What are your thoughts?

Lead image by Jeremy Levin

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the former lacky's picture


Usman Dawood's picture

The only time I've managed to get "free" food, drink or a hotel room was when I was either working for the company or trading services with them. I doubt companies and hotels receive a huge degree of sales from Instagram influencers. Maybe some more followers and likes?

Love it!

Hey I have 55 followers, I should get people to give me things for the "exposure" they will get from my photos. Let's turn the table of people trying to pay photographers with exposure and offer them exposure for free tickets, hotels, food, etc.

Tony Tumminello's picture

Just get a few hundred more followers and you'll qualify to be a "nano-influencer"! I wish I was kidding, but it's a thing.

Alex Reiff's picture

I have a sphere of about 3 people who will seriously consider my input on where to vacation. I consider myself a pico-influencer.

I have ONE follower who rarely listens. Does that make me a femto-influencer?

Ryan Burleson's picture

You influence me to check you out bro.

Pedro Pulido's picture

what the hell is nano influencer? influencing your family and friends ???

Tony Tumminello's picture

Pretty much. It's brands reaching out to more ordinary people who have lower follower counts, but with followers that are more engaged and have a more personal relationship with them. You might not care about a holiday destination recommendation that a Kardashian makes, but what if a good friend of yours makes the recommendation instead? That's the gist of it.

Ryan Davis's picture

I've beaten you all for lack of influence. I don't even take my own ideas seriously.

Best comment in years

It’s satisfying for people to see this happen but really, the influencers aren’t doing anything wrong. They’re offering a service and everyone can decide if they want it or not. Don’t photographers have similar tactics with cold calls?

No they don't. Photographers provide an actual service, at least the ones who do this for a living, and you get something tangible for your money: photos. They also invested years to learn the trade and thousands of dollars to buy gear. Wannabe influencers are selling thin air. To do real business you need real money. What's your exchange rate anyway? How much is one influence in US dollars?

The problem with you and your kind, as this outraged business owner pointed out, is that you pretend "influence" is a thing and it's perfectly legit to try to trade it for tangible products that cost real money. Disrespectful is an understatement. It's so good to see these people go down and apply for a mcjob or line up for their welfare cheques.

Alex Reiff's picture

"Influencer" is a new term for an old concept. For a long time, companies have paid good money and distributed free product for celebrity endorsements and product placements in media. At the heart of it, it's advertising, which can be a valuable service. It's just that there are a lot of individuals who overvalue their abilities.

There are services like hypeauditor that lets businesses know how valuable an influencer is, if the comments and likes seem real, and how their engagement rate compares with others’.

Btw, when did I ever claim to be an influencer? I have a tiny account.

I guess from the comments that most people here don't have any actual experience with the influencer market. Maybe just try and remember that all industries have bad eggs, while professional photographers don't want newbies picking up wedding gigs and making a hash of it - "influencers" don't like to see people with little influence trying to get paid / free product work when they can't offer value. It gives everyone a bad name photographers and influencers alike.
Also, if you're still saying they don't have value go check out rewardStyle, they and companies like them have made influencers into a real commercial force.

Paul Lindqvist's picture

I know plenty of professionals who do work their ass of for marketing other brands on social media there is however a huge difference between "influencers" that work and provide a service, write, take photos, etc. Opposed to those who simply have a huge following and are "internet" celebrities and promote things "casual" on their social media. Like clothes, jewelry, etc.

The market is already starting to become very saturated, I certainly think there will come a time where an honest opinion/review will be hard to find and at some point, a lot of influencers will lose their value.

So basically these influencers with no influence are like squeegee men - offering a service that no one wants.

I think you said it perfectly. So many people figure they’ll give it a try and ask for free stuff and that is annoying and a waste of time for businesses. But a real influencer might be worth it for a business.

Andrew Lodge's picture

I can't stand it when people use the word "Influencer", its so pretentious.

Indeed, as if they can influence anything. They're just glorified actors/models in a commercial.

The big instagrammers no doubt do influence people. Don't underestimate how impressionable the average shmoe is.

Influencer has always sounded like a creepy advertising/marketing Orwellian code word.

Good on'em

Motti Bembaron's picture

Love it!

Best part is that the media coverage of his stance on influencers will probably bring his business far more attention than handing out a few free stays could.

Word “influencer” makes me sick..

frank nazario's picture

If you have the bloated ego, as to call yourself an influencer, something I believe is pathetic, then you do have the money to back that shit statement up.

Cough up the money... if you like the place, praise it, if you don't, flame it ... But don't go around with that bullshit of I am an internet influencer... Wich for a business sounds more like "I'm a gold digger free loader".

Ryan Burleson's picture

I commend this great business owner, these free loaders need to get a job for sure. 😎

Cedric TOSONI's picture

The problem does not come only from the opportunists, but from those who offer them all that.