Influencer calls foul over brands making her work for free

May 28th, 2020

Brand influencers are a dime a dozen these days, but their appeal remains strong for marketers who wish to promote their product through “experiential” or “influencer” marketing.

But anywhere in the world right now, you will see companies and brands undertaking huge budget cuts because of the global economic standstill, and guess what’s among the first to go? Marketing budget, of course.

An Instagram influencer in Australia is calling foul over brands that have supposedly asked her to work for free or at a super discounted rate during this pandemic.

Jadé Tuncdoruk is a Sydney-based fashion influencer with more than 440,000 followers on Instagram. She recounted in her IG stories how these brands (which she did not name) dropped her after she refused the work.

“I’ve collaborated/worked with a few brands over time (a long time) who as of late have asked me to work for much, much less, or for free due to budget cuts—which I understand,” she shares. “However, when I’ve said no—which is in my opinion completely warranted—they have completely written off the relationship.”

Since news of her IG story came out, Tuncdoruk earned a lot of negative feedback from followers and bashers alike, but she stood her ground and posted her full explanation in her other Instagram account, @therealjadetunchy.

View this post on Instagram

I’ve umm-ed and ahh-ed about posting this because I didn’t want to attract any attention to the negative news articles that have been circling about me since last night. However it’s always been in my nature to speak up for what’s right and I’m not going to stop now. Yesterday I was approached by a “journalist” who told me she would be writing an article about a few stories I had on my main account 2 days ago. I deleted them 2 mins after they were posted but she obviously managed to screen shot them before I took them down. They were about the fact that I was asked to do free/extremely low paid work with brands that I’ve worked with for years and the fact that I politely declined. The brands have since decided to no longer partner with me and I found it upsetting because we had worked together for so long and I thought, even formed friendships. I felt like the relationships weren’t valued like I had been lead on to believe. I want to clarify that since covid started, I’ve accepted many jobs at significantly lower rates. I’ve posted for many brands I love for free. I was simply stating that it was a bit disheartening to see the brands I’d worked with for so long, throw me to the side so quickly. I’ve copped a bit of abuse since these articles surfaced and it’s really hurt me today. @lachiebrycki noticed that I wasn’t feeling very good about it all and wrote this article about today’s “actual” news. I can’t put into words what he means to me. He’s the most wonderful person I’ve ever known.

A post shared by Jade Tunchy (@therealjadetunchy) on

No one wants to work for free, obviously. And it certainly doesn’t help if brands try to seemingly “de-value” your worth by asking for lower rates. Everyone’s gotta hustle, especially during these uncertain times. We say let the influencer be—it’s up to her followers if she’s going to remain relevant, anyway.


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