DIRTY LAUNDRY: What we know about the Siargao-Influencer debacle
March 29, 2019 Victoria Luz
Social media is at it again, serving us some hot tea! A feud between a Siargao-based beach resort and vlogger Lance De Ocampo has gone viral!
What is a social media influencer anyway? And how does one call themselves a social media influencer? Those were the questions that popped into our minds when a Siargao resort called out “self-proclaimed influencers”.
Apparently, White Banana Beach Club, a Siargao-based resort posted about how they don’t want to collaborate with self-proclaimed influencers, especially those from Facebook, Youtube, and Instagram. They even pointed out to “influencers” to try another way to eat, sleep or drink for free. Or better yet, get an actual job. It seems like someone has contacted the resort to feature them or promote them via social media. And in return for the exposure and engagement, they could possibly get, the resort will have to provide free food and accommodations to the other party.
That kind of gimmick that the resort described is quite rampant among the so-called “social media influencers”. Since they have a large fanbase and a great number of following, it gives them an edge in endorsing and creating a movement among their audience. Which is quite true, especially for Youtube vloggers and Instagram influencers, who by over the years created their own brand among the public.
Lance de Ocampo answers
Indeed, the post made heads turn, especially those who are social media influencers, as it seems to be somehow a low-key attack to them. But it wasn’t given much attention until someone reacted violently about it. While some influencers turned a blind eye to the post, Lance de Ocampo clapped back about it. Lance De Ocampo, a local Instagram vlogger, shared his thoughts about the issue in his Instagram stories. He claimed that the resort seems to not trust the power of social media these days. He said that if the resort doesn’t want to accept a collaboration, they shouldn’t take it publicly in social media. Instead, they should just contact the influencer privately through email or personal messages.
Aside from that, he mentioned that he and his fellow social media influencers have contributed to the Siargao’s successful tourism. He even added that Siargao won’t be that much appreciated without the “breathtaking and well-curated Instagram photos” featuring Siargao. And De Ocampo expressed the lack of his interest in visiting the said resort, not with that kind of attitude their management has. He even claimed that White Banana Beach Club is capital C, CANCELLEDT!
White Banana Beach Club rebutts
But that IG stories from De Ocampo only added fuel the fire. White Banana Beach Club posted again, acknowledging that their previous post has gone viral. In their newest post, the resort claimed that they are not against influencers but only to those who freeload. According to them, a REAL influencer is called such by the rest and does not address himself/herself as an influencer. Instead of influencers, they are bloggers. The resort claimed that they have collaborated with a few of them, in different terms and conditions of course. And expressed that they wholehearted support them, as they are the ones who contact them in the first place.
The post sparked a debate about who’s a real influencer and who’s not. But if you think about it, White Banana Beach Club only stated their thoughts about collaborating with influencers who demand free stuff. That, in exchange for the exposure they can get. However, as a business, they have the right to decline. Though they dragged the issue publicly, they never dropped a name or called out anyone. But instead, they informed possible people who might contact them asking for free food and accommodations.
You might think that people sided De Ocampo but you guessed wrong. Apparently, people found him a feeling entitled as someone who you might say, is Instagram famous. Majority of the people who commented sided the beach resort, as they found nothing wrong with expressing their intentions. For them, De Ocampo blew out of proportion and made a big fuss out of it. Siargao has always been appreciated by locals and tourists, even way before social media happened.
Some of them even attacked De Ocampo for his Instagram feed not being well-curated. As his feed only consisted of photos of him in different places. But none of them demonstrating or promoting the beauty of the place. They even compared him to big influencers like Camie Juan, Deegee Razon, and the likes. Some even asked if he’s considered an influencer in the first place. Or if he and his opinions are relevant to the issue at hand. Guessed his two cents just backfired.
De Ocampo apologizes… Or not?
But wait, there’s more! De Ocampo apologizes (or fails to do so) after all the heat he got from the issue. Evidently, De Ocampo tried to defend himself. He mentioned that people misunderstood his statement and was taken out of context. He did apologize for the conflict he caused. In doing so, he admitted that being an influencer comes with privileges and advantages that he greatly acknowledged. And that whatever he says can reach a lot of people. But he never intended to sound “entitled” as some people call him out to be.
Then he took a sharp turn from being apologetic to calling out White Banana Beach Club real quick. De Ocampo honestly said that he was “strongly offended” by the statement of the beach resort. Saying that it was a hasty decision to make. But it wasn’t like the resort declined to future collaborations. Just for those asking free stuff. At the same time, he launched into telling his back story of how free stuff helped him survived in Manila. He said that he moved to Manila after graduating to pursue his passion to be a content creator.
He also clarified that he didn’t message the beach for any collaborations. And that he didn’t mean to take credit for Siargao’s overall tourism. He asked that people stop attacking him, his friends and family. De Ocampo lamented that no one deserves to be bullied for voicing out the opinion they believe in. And once again, ended it in an apology.
Think before you click, I guess
While this seems like a good issue to debate over, things have gotten out of hand. But apparently, there goes to show that social media is a double-edged sword you’d have to handle carefully. It’s a harsh world out there, both in real life and in social media. But a lot of us has the audacity to get violent or react negatively as nothing connects us but social media. So, choose your words wisely and think about what you’ll have to say. Not everyone shares the same opinion as we do.
What can you say about the issue between White Banana Beach Club and Instagram vlogger Lance De Ocampo? How would one categorize themselves as social media influencers? Tell us in the comment section below. You can also send us a message on our Facebook or Twitter @UDoUPh.