A restaurant critic has slammed a “nobody” YouTube couple who request freebies in exchange for glowing social media posts that show they’ve been the venues or used the products.
Australian restaurant critic John Lethlean has called out an influencer couple for requesting constant freebies in exchange for posts on their popular YouTube and Instagram pages.
Mr Lethlean was alerted to the fact that the YouTubers Chloe Szep and Mitchell Orval had reached out to brands selling baby products, requesting they be ‘gifted’ with baby products in preparation for the birth of their child.
The well-respected food journalist shared a screenshot to Instagram of the request the couple made, which was submitted by the pair’s management team to a media newsletter.
Mr Lethlean is a food writer and restaurant critic for The Australian. He writes an influential column in The Weekend Australian magazine and has been considered an authority in the industry for 20 years.
Mocking the couple, Mr Lethlean captioned the post: ‘Hello. I’m nobody and I figure, if I can get something for free, why not? My reputation for integrity ain’t worth a pinch of poo anyway #CouscousForComment.’
The hashtag appeared to be a reference to the infamous ‘cash for comment’ affair which involved broadcasters Alan Jones and John Laws two decades ago.
In 1999, ABC’s Media Watch revealed that Jones and Laws had been paid for making favourable comments about companies such as Qantas, Optus and major Australian banks. However, listeners were not made aware that this was paid advertising.
Chloe and Mitch, who between them have 770,000 Instagram followers and 98,000 YouTube subscribers, recently announced that they were expecting their first child.
Their management then made a request in a newsletter which stated: ‘Please reach out if you represent any baby-related brands or products and are interested in gifting them to Chloe and Mitch.’
Mr Lethlean then used the hashtag ‘CouscousForComment’, which has been used in the past to call out other influencers.
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Aimee is a Media & Communications graduate from Birmingham City University with a passion for everything related to cats, milkshakes and Oreo-flavoured consumables. You will often find Aimee typing furiously equipped with a Greggs’ sausage roll and a gingerbread man.