A rude denial was not what superinfluencer Amy Seder thought would be the response she would get receive after one recent request for free accommodation. But that’s exactly what one Italian hotel fed up with requests from influencers sent her. “Blogger infestation. Not interested,” was the specific retort. With influence pedaling reaching the point of no return, it’s easy to see why many hoteliers and restaurateurs are growing increasingly reluctant to splash out on self-proclaimed influencers who don’t live up to their hype.

 

When influencing becomes freeloading

 

This is not the first famous case of a hotel delivering a sharp rebuke to an influencer, nor an isolated incident. The ‘Will influence for free accommodation’ mantra has grown old in an age jam-packed by pundits claiming that profits and public awareness will be generated by their positive reviews of the institutions that pamper them. In another incident, a Philippine resort tired of receiving requests for comp from influencers sent out a tirade that criticized the nature of the profession, questioning the idea of what on the surface may look like getting something for nothing.

 

The future of influence

 

There’s no returning to the rather quaint world of just a few years ago before online advertising started to really come into its own and allow for the cultivation of the interactive social media platforms and digital marketing of today. While a vetting process and some regulatory measures may be needed, the future of advertising and influencing, shopping and negotiating will have a significant digital component that won’t be stopped by admonishments. Influencers are here to stay, although the nature of what’s said and how it’s said will no doubt continue evolving, as has always been the case.

 

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