When is an ad, not an ad? Estée Lalonde and The Reading Rooms B&B

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A mini twitter storm happened in my timeline today, a Margate B&B were angry that influencer Estée Lalonde had used a hotel room as a shoot location, without paying for the priviledge. They've deleted the original tweet, but they basically called her out, reached out to Lancome (and got a response!) and really seemed to believe they had been wronged. 

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The B&B reached out to the ASA (Advertising Standards Authority) trying to research (complain?) about what consitutes an official shoot, and twitter seems to collapse in shock. Estée, although a huge influencer, had visited the hotel as a paying guest, and had shared a pic of a selfie of her face. She tagged the make-up brands that she used, which is standard practice on instagram for many, even if you're not an influencer. Some people do it to try and lessen the flood of "What are you wearing?" queries, some do it to try and get a cheeky nod of approval from the brand (for fun), and some do it just to play the instagram game. 

She also tweeted a pretty standard instagram picture of her breakfast, tagging her PJs/clothing with the brand. The B&B somehow understood that this meant it was a paid #ad, and therefore their location needed the correct compensation. It wasn't a paid collaboration, and to be honest, even if it were, I don't agree that this would need a location fee. The world may not agree with me, but there you go.

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The B&B  seemed genuinely trying to make sense of the whole twitter storm, but somehow seeing instagram pictures as comparable to fashion shoots just seems too far fetched to me. If I wanted to stay in a hotel, because it had a gorgeous wooden floor to do flat lays on, I'd hardly expect to be paying for location hire.

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No, no it wouldn't be a good idea. Mountains and mole hills come to mind.

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All the tweets got deleted, and an apology issued. The more interesting thing for me to reflect on, is that I often forget that the majority of people don't understand social media in the way I presume. I used to teach basic twitter skills back in the day, and I always presuem these lessons are no longer needed. That we're all up to date now. But I forget that many many businesses are new to social media, and understanding how the platforms work. That there are always beginners. Maybe it's time for me to start teaching again!