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$2,300 to be part of a listicle? responds to flak from netizens

$2,300 to be part of a listicle? responds to flak from netizens
PHOTO: Pexels, Facebook/Yangyan

Local online food publication seems to have landed in hot water.

On Wednesday (Oct 4), Charlene Yan, owner of a local bakery, shared a post about a recent interaction she had with a staff member of the publication.

Charlene received an email from about being a part of its upcoming listicle, featuring "the best places to eat in Everton Park".

That's all well and good but, according to the post, this comes at a cost.

The email to Charlene mentioned that securing a random spot on this listicle will set her back $2,300.

Now, this did not sit well with the baker at all.

"Like what happened to actual research, trying then putting in your true recommendations?" she asked.

According to the email, besides a spot on the listicle, the price also includes a 150 to 200 words long review and one to two photos per merchant.

While positions within the listicle is random, a merchant has the option to pick a position, at an extra cost.

The top spot, which has already been taken, is an extra $600 while spot number two costs an extra $500 while spot number three is a $400 top-up.

Charlene described the email as "incredulous" and ended off on a punchy statement, leaving no doubt about her displeasure at the situation.

"I'm totally not clicking or reading any of their articles ever," she wrote.

Charlene's Facebook post gained traction online and was reposted on Reddit on Friday afternoon (Oct 6).

In the comments section, one netizen was quick to point out that this is why they stay clear of food recommendations from influencers.

They mentioned that such recommendations tend to be "surface level" and follow the "same descriptors". 

Other users claimed that's email to Charlene is common industry practice.

"Pretty sure this is how most influencers operate," a netizen commented.

On the same Friday afternoon, released a statement in response to Charlene's Facebook post.

The online food publication apologised for "any confusion or frustration" that the post may have caused before going on to clarifying their approach. stated that it looks out for new and trending food joints using social media and Google ratings.

"Our team of writers then has one job: to eat at as many of those places as possible and write about them honestly."

It is "patently false" that picks out eateries at random before sending them proposals, the statement added.

In the case of Charlene's bakery, reached out to the business looking for a potential sales collaboration.

Should a deal be struck, a team member would head down to the F&B outlet to try the food before writing about it.

"If the food quality is far below average, we would still drop the client so as not to mislead our readers," according to the released statement. 

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