A very public row has been running since a blogger on social media asked the owner of a Dublin hotel for a free five-night stay for herself and a partner in exchange for some positive publicity on her website.

Elle Darby,22, who blogs her followers about beauty, lifestyle and travel, sent her email request to Paul Stenson, owner of the Charleville Lodge Hotel, Dublin, who turned her request down, and then obtained publicity for his hotel by publishing the request, and his rejection. Darby, who received abuse from bravely anonymous internet trolls as a result, has published a tearful video entitled “i was exposed (SO embarrassing)” and Stenson has responded by offering his customers T-shirts featuring the row.

Views on the uninspiring spat are polarised. Some feel that Darby overestimated the selling power of her blog and was accordingly naive in asking to be given an expensive five-night stay for two. As a rule most honest event industry journalists writing about hotels are offered just one or occasionally two nights to do the job. Others feel that Darby was also naive in assuming that a hotel highly star-rated for its facilities would not be cursed with poor service and/or terrible food.

However there is also the view that Stenson was gratuitously cruel in the way he rejected Darby’s hopeful approach, which came across to us as just something to boost his ego, something he clearly needs.

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