Chef claims PR firm asked her to bake a free cake for Munroe Bergdorf’s birthday in latest row over celebrities trying to blag freebies in return for ‘social media exposure’

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A third party PR company reached out to a small business owner on behalf of model Munroe Bergdorf (pictured) asking for £1,500 worth of free cake

A London chef has hit out at companies asking her to cook for famous people in exchange for social media exposure after claiming a firm asked her to bake model Munroe Bergdorf’s birthday cake for free. 

Reshmi Bennett, owner of luxury cake business Anges de Sucre in London, took to Instagram to criticise the unnamed PR firm for their request after receiving an email about Bergdorf’s birthday. 

It’s understood that Munroe’s personal team were not involved in the request.  

In the statement, she bashed the PR company for offering ‘support’ in return for the cake, which she estimated would have come to a cost of about £1,500. However, since releasing the statement, Reshmi has praised Bergdorf after the model got in touch to apologise for the mix-up.

She claimed Vogue’s contributing editor said she was ‘appalled’ to hear a company had been asking for freebies in her name and has since offered Reshmi the job of making her birthday cake for a full fee.

The social media storm comes after both Coronation Street star Catherine Tyldesley and former Love Islander Kem Cetinay found themselves in hot water when their representatives asked for free cakes for parties and promising only ‘social media exposure’ in return.

A third party PR company reached out to a small business owner on behalf of model Munroe Bergdorf (pictured) asking for £1,500 worth of free cake 

The unidentified PR company offered Reshmi Bennett (pictured) a tag from the star in exchange for her work

The unidentified PR company offered Reshmi Bennett (pictured) a tag from the star in exchange for her work

Taking to social media, Reshmi Bennett claimed the firm, which she has chosen not to name, asked her to bake a cake that would feed 140 guests.

She added the company had specific requirements for the sweet treat for Bergdorf’s birthday soirée, asking that it was red velvet and should be adorned with edible crystals.

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In exchange, Bennett would receive social media exposure with a tag from the contributing editor from Vogue, as well as being included in the press release set to be distributed to ‘top tier media’ post-event.

The chef was also offered access to photography and videos from the star studded event, which was set to host famous names from the music and fashion world, she claimed.

After receiving the request, Reshmi said it had instantly got ‘her back up’ and accused the PR firm of not researching her business properly. 

She said they were ‘pushing her buttons’ by asking for a free cake which she estimates would have been worth £1,500, and only offering social media exposure in return – particularly during a cost-of-living crisis. 

Bennett responded to the company, outlining the cost of a cake for 140 people, and asking the company to define the term ‘support’ meant and if it was a synonym for sponsored collaboration. 

In email correspondence, shared by Bennett, the PR company asked if she would consider baking the cake for 140 guests

In email correspondence, shared by Bennett, the PR company asked if she would consider baking the cake for 140 guests

They requested a red velvet flavoured crystal covered cakes in exchange for being included in a press release after the event, a tag from Munroe as well as access to footage from the celebrations

They requested a red velvet flavoured crystal covered cakes in exchange for being included in a press release after the event, a tag from Munroe as well as access to footage from the celebrations

Bennett claimed that the email had 'got her back up 'straight away as it was clear the company had not researched her small business at all, as she has previously expressed her distaste at freebie requests

Bennett claimed that the email had ‘got her back up ‘straight away as it was clear the company had not researched her small business at all, as she has previously expressed her distaste at freebie requests

Initially, the chef was so outraged she wanted to send a practical joke in the form of a cake upon which the words ‘support small business’ would be written, along with an aubergine.

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However she claims her business could not afford to waste unnecessary funds on delivery fees for a joke. Instead, she decided to share the request on Instagram to air her frustration.

She wrote on her blog: ‘I shared the email on our Instagram in the hope that other cake makers see and don’t fall for this. 

The chef soon received emails from the company, saying that she had breached a confidentiality agreement written within the email correspondence.

The unidentified person also added: ‘You said in your email you are happy to support, provided the quote but failed to allow us to reply to this.’ 

But to Bennett’s surprise, famous LGBTQ+ model, Munroe Bergdorf spotted the post, quickly commenting and contacting her privately.

The model claimed she had no idea about the company reaching out with such a request on her behalf, branding it as ’embarrassing on many fronts’.

The contributing editor also requested to know the name of the email sender so she could ‘get to the bottom of it’.

Bergdorf added: ‘Regardless, appreciate your very understandable frustration. There’s so much about that email that I’m unhappy with.

‘The main thing being that you shouldn’t have been put in that position and that you should be paid your fee in full.’ 

The chef was tempted to send a practical joke cake like the one picture but divulged she could not afford to waste delivery fees on such an expense during a cost of living crisis

The chef was tempted to send a practical joke cake like the one picture but divulged she could not afford to waste delivery fees on such an expense during a cost of living crisis

The PR company soon reached out to the chef claiming she had breached the confidentiality notice in their email

The PR company soon reached out to the chef claiming she had breached the confidentiality notice in their email

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Bergdorf quickly reached out expressing a great deal of embarrassment, stating she was 'appalled' and unaware such requests had been made on her behalf

Bergdorf quickly reached out expressing a great deal of embarrassment, stating she was ‘appalled’ and unaware such requests had been made on her behalf

The chef opted to believe the model, who reportedly expressed she was deeply embarrassed and also claimed the email was not from her PR team but a third party.

She also allegedly stated to Bennett that the third party company should not have been mentioning her employer or sharing the party guest list. 

After an initial conflict over the baking request, Reshmi has revealed that she will now be baking Bergdorf’s birthday cake – but will be paid in full for her services. 

Divulging that she felt guilty about the model feeling bad about the cake request blunder, Bennett stated in an Instagram post: ‘I’m genuinely blown away that a busy celebrity took the time to reach out to me.

‘Not only was I not expecting a response, but I definitely wasn’t expecting one of empathy. I am sick to the back of my teeth of these requests.’ 

This comes after Catherine Tyldesley was at the centre of a cake gate scandal, when she requested a 100 free cakes for her birthday in exchange for social media coverage and a magazine plugs. 

Rebecca Severs – owner of the small business in question – hit back and stated that stars requesting freebies is an ‘insult’.

She went on to express how most people have a desire to ‘support their local businesses’ and ‘value them hugely’.  

Severs added that her small business often works with ‘real celebrities’ who have never requested a discount and also ‘leave a large tip’. 

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Source: tit.edu.vn

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