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Restaurant critic slams ‘nobody’ Instagram influencers for requesting freebies

Acid-tongued restaurant critic names and shames ‘nobody’ YouTube stars for requesting freebies

  • Has an influencer approached your business? Email tips@dailymail.com 

Australian restaurant critic John Lethlean has called out an influencer couple for requesting freebies in exchange for glowing social media posts.

Mr Lethlean was stunned to discover that YouTubers Chloe Szep and Mitchell Orval had asked for baby products to be ‘gifted’ to them ahead of their child’s birth.

The well-respected journalist shared a screenshot to Instagram of the request, which had been submitted by the pair’s management team to a media newsletter.

Busted! Restaurant critic John Lethlean has called out influencer couple Chloe Szep (left) and Mitchell Orval (right) for requesting freebies in exchange for glowing social media posts 

Mr Lethlean is a renowned food writer and restaurant critic at The Australian, and has consistently been an authority figure in the industry since 1996.

‘Yuck. Call me old, but yuck!’ Mr Lethlean wrote.

‘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 was seemingly a reference to the infamous ‘cash for comment’ affair involving broadcasters Alan Jones and John Laws two decades ago.

In 1999, ABC’s Media Watch revealed that Jones and Laws had been paid to give favourable comment to companies – including Qantas, Optus and major Australian banks – on their programs without disclosing this arrangement to listeners.  

'Call me old, but yuck!' The acid-tongued journalist shared a screenshot to Instagram of the request, which had been submitted by the couple's management team to a media newsletter

‘Call me old, but yuck!’ The acid-tongued journalist shared a screenshot to Instagram of the request, which had been submitted by the couple’s management team to a media newsletter

Chloe and Mitch, who have 770,000 Instagram followers and 98,000 YouTube subscribers between them, announced they were expecting a child last week.

Their management requested in the newsletter: ‘Please reach out if you represent any baby-related brands or products and are interested in gifting them to Chloe and Mitch.’ 

Mr Lethlean has used the hashtag ‘CouscousForComment’ in the past to call out other influencers, including Married At First Sight’s Dean Wells.

Whoops: Mr Lethlean has called out other influencers in the past, including MAFS' Dean Wells

Whoops: Mr Lethlean has called out other influencers in the past, including MAFS’ Dean Wells 

Leaked: In August 2018, a 'leaked' email supposedly revealed Dean's attempts at dining for free at a Melbourne restaurant. The embarrassing email (pictured), which appeared to have been sent by a representative on behalf of Dean, was published on Instagram by Mr Lethlean

Leaked: In August 2018, a ‘leaked’ email supposedly revealed Dean’s attempts at dining for free at a Melbourne restaurant. The embarrassing email (pictured), which appeared to have been sent by a representative on behalf of Dean, was published on Instagram by Mr Lethlean

In August 2018, a ‘leaked’ email supposedly revealed Dean’s attempts at dining for free at a Melbourne restaurant.

The embarrassing email, which appeared to have been sent by a representative on behalf of Dean, was published on Instagram by Mr Lethlean.

‘I hope this finds you well. I just wanted to touch base regarding our client, Married At First Sight star Dean Wells, who is looking to wine and dine in the city of Melbourne on the 18th of August,’ read the email. 

‘I thought this could be a good opportunity for them to attend your restaurant, as Dean has over 80K followers across his Instagram. In return for looking after the two on this special occasion, we can offer Social Media posts and mentions.’

Mr Lethlean captioned his post at the time: ‘Grasping At First Sight, a new reality series. Please consider #CouscousForComment.’     

Burn: Mr Lethlean joked that Dean should star in a new TV show called 'Grasping At First Sight'

Burn: Mr Lethlean joked that Dean should star in a new TV show called ‘Grasping At First Sight’

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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