TripAdvisor Disaster for Ernie Els

The Sunday Telegraph today reports a possible blackmail scam involving Chris Hobson, TripAdvisor’s top UK reviewer for 2013. Chris posted an incredible 512 reviews in 12 months – roughly 3 every 2 days – but stands accused of trashing a South Yorkshire steakhouse in an alleged protection racket. Serve a free meal or get a bad review on the interwebs. But the real disaster is the collateral damage suffered by the Ernie Els wine brand as Chris is portrayed in the expose, hugging an outsize bottle of Ernie Els red. Or perhaps the bottle is normal size and Chris is very tiny.

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The Hobson affair will be watched keenly by another Chris, Chris von Ulmenstein, whose Camps Bay and Franschhoekfranschhoekcellarwines TripAdvisor Disaster for Ernie Els
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guest houses are frequent victims of negative TripAdvisor reviews.

Camps Bay Chris is launching a counter attack. His whalecottage blog today toadies up to TripAdvisor with a post “TripAdvisor has launched its Smartphone App, which allows one to download the information before leaving home, and then to access the information for 300 cities offline in the travel destination, avoiding expensive roaming charges. The App will move between more limited information if the user is offline, or the full information if wifi is detected.”

Could Plan B be a call to VicarDave, self confessed “urban missionary+film+sports+blogger, pastor St Peter’s Church, Mowbray” to exorcise bad karma from the Franschhoek property?

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If exorcism does not work, the next step is to call in the professionals.

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This story has got hairy legs. Franschhoek Tourism should contact Urban Brew for a possible sequel to Ghost Busters.  Hollywood A-listers Sean Penn and Charlize Theron are in town at the minute and Charlize bears more than a passing resemblance to the prolific blogger in her monster hit, Monster.