'Don't ruin my life': Influencer refutes Thai eatery's accusations he ghosted them on promised collab after free meal

'Don't ruin my life': Influencer refutes Thai eatery's accusations he ghosted them on promised collab after free meal
PHOTO: Screengrab/Facebook/Chiang Mai Thai Kitchen, TikTok/Marcus Lo

Free food in exchange for social media exposure - that was the deal.

But an eatery was left high and dry when a social media influencer 'ghosted' them after promising a "collaboration".

Taking to Facebook last Saturday (May 27), Chiang Mai Thai Kitchen shared that Marcus Lo – with over a million likes on TikTok – first reached out to them on April 2.

In a message to the Ang Mo Kio eatery, the 20-year-old social media influencer promised to post a TikTok video and up to three Instagram Stories after the free meal.

"I've 23,000 followers on TikTok and [over] 2,300 on Instagram," he told Chiang Mai Thai Kitchen, while the eatery responded by giving him $100 worth of credits to use for dinner.

"Remember to help us take nice photos," the restaurant quipped.

In the Facebook post, it showed that Lo did not reply to Chiang Mai Thai Kitchen's messages after he went for dinner there on April 29.

"The market is bad now. $100 [worth] of food we might as well give to those who really need it," the eatery lamented. "We are sorry. We thought we could gain some exposure through him."

The eatery's Facebook post garnered over 110 comments and 300 shares.

In the comments, several netizens accused Lo of being "shameless" by asking for a free meal.

Others pointed out that the social media influencer should apologise for his "mistake"

"You're going to get flak from everyone for sure, but how you turn this into something positive will now be up to you," a netizen said, while another said that "everyone deserves a second chance" 

On Sunday (May 28), some one month later, Lo posted the "belated" TikTok video – giving his review of the food at Chiang Mai Thai Kitchen.


"Tasted very authentic," he chimed about the eatery in the 20-second clip, while gushing about the "affordable food".

Eatery is ruining my life: Lo

Speaking to AsiaOne on Monday (May 29), Lo shared that he had reached out to Chiang Mai Thai Kitchen five hours after their Facebook post on May 27 went viral, adding that their accusations were a "misunderstanding". 

He claimed that the eatery told him to "take his time" to post the TikTok video. 

"If I wanted to purposely eat there for free, I would not have wasted my time and effort to record and edit the video in the first place," Lo said, while refuting the eatery's accusations that he had deliberately ignored their messages. 

"I'm not deflecting any faults and I fully take responsibility for not checking my messages," he added. 

In an update to their original Facebook post, Chiang Mai Thai Kitchen acknowledged that Lo had reached out to them. 

"We will not be responding to anything related to this issue anymore," they said. 

But Lo shared that the eatery refused to remove the Facebook post even after this "sincere apology". 

"I told them that I have been receiving many hate messages and threats," the social media influencer said. "I really appreciate if they don't ruin a 20-year-old's life." 

Other influencers sincere and genuine: Eatery

In an interview with AsiaOne, the owner of Chiang Mai Thai Kitchen clarified that he will not be removing the Facebook post. 

Describing how it would be "better for Lo" that way, 35-year-old Joseph said: "It's better that we clarify he had contacted us rather than take it down." 

The eatery boss, who has been running the business since May 2019, shared that it was his first time getting 'ghosted' by a social media influencer. 

"Other influencers are so nice. They will reply even though they're busy and update us when they will be posting the [social media] content," Joseph said, adding that he will continue to "collaborate" with those who are "genuine and sincere". 

But did the eatery boss feel that Lo is "genuine and sincere", or was he just after a free meal? 

"I'll let you be the judge," Joseph said. 

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