Flop of the Month: Barnardo's slated for paying Made in Chelsea star £3,000

Children's charity Barnardo's came under fire after The Sun accused it of paying reality TV star 'Binky' Felstead £20,000 for promoting the charity on Instagram.

The story emerged after the reality TV star posted a picture of herself holding a sign asking people to follow Barnardo’s on Instagram. Felstead took to Twitter to say she was "horrified at the total lies in The Sun", before Barnardo’s released a statement confirming it had paid Binky the lesser fee of £3,000.

The charity defended its decision on the grounds that it had previously struggled to "secure the right celebrity backing" and that Barnardo’s retail shops are part of its trading arm and therefore operate in a commercial way.

But the defence didn’t wash with the public and the charity was widely criticised. And criticism wasn’t just reserved for the charity, as Felstead was hit with a tirade of Twitter abuse for encouraging followers to donate money while accepting a fee for her own time. She eventually agreed to waive her £3,000 fee, and said she had always intended to donate her fee to charity.

Although the campaign dominated headlines, it clearly did not have the intended effect. Research by social media monitoring firm Talkwalker found 85 per cent of mentions were negative and 15 per cent positive, with more than ten per cent of all mentions referring to the incident as a "disgrace".

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