Famous Youtuber causes outrage for 'ripping' off and exploiting fans
Youtubers are a divisive breed of new-age social media influencers.
Love them or hate them (most people hate them), they're incredibly (and annoyingly) successful.
Mostly starting from humble beginnings, Youtubers built up their success in the early 2000s as pay per view and advertising became increasingly lucrative.
Amongst the most successful are 27 year old Zoella Sugg, her boyfriend Alfie Deyes, and friend Tanya Burr; all of whom made their millions through their predominantly young followers' staunch devotion.
Youtuber Zoella began making Fashion, make up and lifestyle videos in 2009
Amassing over 11.8 million subscribers, vlogger Zoella would be no where without her mostly young teenage girl following.
So it seems somewhat hypocritical and exploitative that Zoella has sought to monetise her influence in whatever way possible.
That's not to say that she isn't allowed to capitalise on the empire she's built, but there's a line between being profitable, and downright exploitative.
Whilst her books, though ghost written and insipid, don't quite cross this line, the release of her '12 days of Christmas advent calendar' certainly does.
The calendar, which contains 'prizes' including stickers and a jotting pad, costs an outrageous £50.
For someone who's worth around £2.5 million, it's not like she needs to charge extortionate prices.
The problem with the calendar, aside from the price, is that it preys on the easily-exploited demands of young girls, pressurising parents to purchase the calendar.
this infuriates me beyond words. so unreasonably priced.. both her and Alfie are terrible for it. KNOW 👏🏻 YOUR 👏🏻 AUDIENCE 👏🏻— oh honey (@__tigerlilley) November 13, 2017
me: why are adults concerning themselves with how children they don't even know are living their best lives— Mollie Goodfellow 🤶🏻 (@hansmollman) November 13, 2017
also me: Zoella is selling advent calendars for HOW MUCH
"Perhaps the calendar is priced in accordance with its contents" I hear you shout at your screens... perhaps indeed.
The reviews of the calendar, which is available from Boots, suggest quite the opposite.
The calendar has 67 1 star reviews out of 81 reviews
The majority of the reviews accuse the calendar of being cheaply made and outrageously overpriced, completely missing the mark. The contents are cheaply made and ill-thought out.
The 12, yes 12, day calendar contains:
- A purse
- A 30g candle (this is very small)
- A bauble
- Cookie cutters (2 which, by the way, are in 2 different windows)
- A jotter notepad
- A room spray (30ml... 30)
- A pen
- Pom pom key ring
- A candle holder
In fact, one person on Twitter calculated the separate value of each item, and totalled them up to around £21.57.
JaackMaate's video inspired me to see how much Zoella's £50 Christmas Advent calendar was worth.— Yasmine (@YasmineSumman) November 11, 2017
After searching for each item on Amazon and Primark, buying each item individually would all together cost you £21.57 (roughly). So you're paying: £28.43 extra for her name on it. pic.twitter.com/uCXnNDUSzl
The Youtuber has been completely slated on Twitter, with people calling her exploitative by preying on the naivety of her fans.
Zoella is selling an advent calendar with only 12 days for £50 to her 11 yr old fans and honestly I don’t think I’ve hated anyone more— maisie✨ (@maisiehogg) November 3, 2017
Wtf is up with @Zoella £50 advent calendar? Did she lose her common sense? Have fun exploiting your young viewers and their naive parents, who buys that piece of shit.— Sofie Nordentoft (@nordentoft2) November 11, 2017
Completely lost all respect for zoella after hearing all this stuff about her £50 advent calendar, how much money does she need, so greedy😒— emsⓋ🐘🌱 (@_cast4way) November 5, 2017
@Zoella how does it feel charging ur sweet innocent tween fans £50 for a 12 day advent calendar filled with content from actual poundland— 🦁Bry🦁 (@plasticballpit) November 8, 2017
I know there's lots to factor in, but I'm a little disappointed that Zoella hasn't addressed the issues with her extremely overpriced advent calendar— Katie🎄✨ (@ktlgh) November 11, 2017
The calendar seems to be a last straw for many, signalling that Zoella doesn't seem to care about her fans or indeed remember that it was their loyalty that got her to where she is today.
Zoella has yet to address the swathes of criticism inundating Twitter. It's likely she'll probably shirk responsibility by saying she had no say in the price, likely leaving fans (and critics) largely unimpressed.