While this isn’t the first time that an influencer and a brand have become at odds over emails, this saga between Serene Martin and Daphne Maia Loo has all the makings of a fight for the books–not only because of the terms of the “business proposal” but also because of the personalities involved.

Serene Martin vs Daphne Maia Loo

Serene Martin, an international wellness coach, motivational speaker, and lifestyle influencer, was reportedly looking to compete in the International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness (IFBB) Pro Bikini competition. To train and get the sculpted body for the competition, she decided to look for a coach who could help her achieve her goals. She allegedly sent an email blast to several gyms asking for a collaboration that entailed 36 sessions of personal training, along with a $3000 fee.

The short version of it is that she wants to get trained to have a body that could win a bodybuilding bikini competition, and get paid while doing so. In exchange, she would leverage her 30,000 Instagram followers and other social media fans for the brand’s exposure, sharing and posting about the trainer and gym on her blog.

While some gym owners and trainers simply ignored her email, one of the public relations officers of the brands she contacted took offense and posted her email, with her name blurred out. Take a look at the post below:

What Daphne, who said she was a personal trainer and a former social media manager and marketing manager, took offense with was that Serene was asking for $3000 dollars. She also felt the need to defend the fitness industry, which she says is intensely competitive and that someone out there would take Serene up on the offer and would be willing to pay the $3000.

As you could expect, netizens descended upon the post, and the hateful comments about Serene’s body, her chosen lifestyle, and the fact that she proposed such a collaboration flowed freely. Other commenters also said that they were contacted too, but they did not bother to get back to Serene.

As the post climbed to more than a thousand shares and the comments became increasingly personal, Serene chose to reply with this post:

In the post, she defended her actions, saying that other people who were contacted didn’t feel the need to post about her question on social media. She also said that she never asked for “free” personal training sessions, as she was willing to create content for the gym and personal trainer who would accept her offer. She also said that she had paid for every single personal trainer she has ever trained with.

She defended her photographer, and said that the one who took her photos in the email was not the professional photographer she mentioned in her email.

She also said that she received an unprofessional response from Daphne, who allegedly sent a single line of emoticons in the reply email.

Serene also called on the media to give attention to her side of the story, alongside Daphne’s post. As of publishing, Serene has made her Instagram account private.

But is that all there is to this saga? Is influence-peddling here unfounded and lacking in Serene’s case since Daphne was clearly not impressed with her reach and reader base? What do you think? Let us know in the comments!

Want to know what Melissa Koh’s influencer saga was about? Read a post on her wedding here!