5 horror stories about social media influencers — and Dubai makes the list

Updated 30 January 2018

5 horror stories about social media influencers — and Dubai makes the list

LONDON: Social media influencers are back in the spotlight following the naming and shaming of British YouTuber Elle Darby. After requesting a free four-night stay at a Dublin hotel in exchange for coverage on her social media channels, Darby found herself in the middle of a social media spat with the hotel owner, Paul Stenson, who attacked Darby’s lack of “self-respect and dignity.”
But Darby is far from the only online influencer to have provoked a negative reaction, as the unruly multi-million dollar, fast-evolving industry tries to find its feet. And this is just as much the case in the Middle East, as it is in the West. 
Dubai-based PR and marketing agencies have told Arab News some of the highs and lows reported by those hiring — and firing — the market movers of today and tomorrow. 

Bloggers Behaving Badly
A Middle Eastern travel influencer asked to be paid 30,000 dirhams ($8,000) for a free one night stay at a hotel. 
A fashionista influencer failed to return an expensive designer coat after being loaned it for a write-up.
An influencer accepted a 50 percent down payment on a long-term marketing partnership, but only managed ONE solitary Instagram post.
An influencer wasted $20,000 of a client’s money when she didn’t like the storyboard of a commercial she was involved in, according to a Dubai-based marketer, who says the influencer then stopped responding to calls, even though she was being paid $80,000.
A Middle Eastern influencer who signed up to partner with a fast-moving consumer goods brand, only to send his manager to a campaign briefing while he slept in his car.
The rewards of the industry are immense, with beauty blogger Huda Kattan reportedly earning $18,000 per post, according to HopperHP.com.

Top Dubai social media influencers
1. Huda Kattan
Platform: Instagram... Followers: 24M
If you’re interested in: Beauty 

2. Abdullaziz Baz
Platform: Instagram... Followers: 4.6M
If you’re interested in: Humor

3. Mo Vlogs
Platform: YouTube... Followers: 4M
If you’re interested in: Luxury LifeStyle

4. Taim Alfalasi
Platform: Instagram... Followers: 2.4M
If you’re interested in: Travel and Food

5. Khalid Al-Ameri
Platform: Instagram… Followers: 175K
If you’re interested in: Social Commentary

6. Mohanad Alwadiya
Platform: Twitter... Followers: 142K
If you’re interested in: Real Estate

7. Bader Najeeb
Platform: Instagram... Followers: 89K
If you’re interested in: Cooking

8. Rashed Al-Nuaimi
Platform: Instagram... Followers: 40K
If you’re interested in: Music

Saudi Arabia ‘has a case’ in complaint over World Cup ‘politicization’ by Qatar’s BeIN

Updated 19 June 2018

Saudi Arabia ‘has a case’ in complaint over World Cup ‘politicization’ by Qatar’s BeIN

  • Broadcast of political messages in coverage forbidden, analyst confirms.
  • Saudi football federation urges FIFA to sanction the Doha-owned channel.

LONDON: Saudi Arabia has a justified case in complaining to FIFA over the “politicization” of the World Cup by the Qatari broadcaster BeIN Sports, a prominent TV analyst has said.
A flurry of comments by hosts and pundits aired on BeIN’s Arabic station prompted the Saudi Arabian Football Federation to complain to FIFA this week, saying the broadcaster was using the football tournament to spread political messages aimed at insulting Saudi Arabia and its leaders.
In its complaint, the federation called on FIFA to take severe sanctions against the Qatari channel and to abolish the rights granted to the network.
One BeIN commentator accused Saudi Arabia of “selling out the Palestinian cause,” while a Doha-based international footballer invited on the channel was allowed to call for an end to the year-long boycott of Qatar by neighbors Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt and Bahrain.
Constantinos Papavassilopoulos, principal TV research analyst at IHS Markit Technology, said that politicized coverage was expressly forbidden by world football’s governing body as well as the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA).
“FIFA and UEFA forbid the transmission of political messages during football matches for which they control the rights. It’s not only comments by the broadcasters — but even banners; everything (political) is forbidden,” the analyst told Arab News.
“So messages about Palestine, about political things, are not allowed.”
Papavassilopoulos said that if there is evidence of such cases, authorities in the Kingdom would be justified in taking the matter to FIFA.
“If there are video clips that show BeIN media personnel speaking against Saudi Arabia, Saudi Arabia has a case,” he said.
But whether FIFA will take any action against BeIN is another matter. Papavassilopoulos pointed to the fact that BeIN is a valued client of FIFA — it bought the rights to host the World Cup across the Middle East and North Africa — and that Qatar plans to host the tournament in 2022.
“BeIN media is a very good client for FIFA. And don’t forget that Qatar is the country that will host the 2022 World Cup,” he said. “It’s going to be very very hard for FIFA to impose penalties on BeIN media knowing that Qatar will hold the next World Cup.”
Some of the biggest names in Arab sport have signed a petition to protest against BeIN’s politicization of World Cup coverage, urging FIFA President Gianni Infantino to investigate the coverage.
FIFA did not immediately respond to a request for comment when contacted by Arab News.