This Los Angeles ice cream truck owner had had enough.
After years of social media influencers requesting free ice cream in exchange for “exposure,” CVT Soft Serve owner Joe Nicchi made a new rule: “Influencers Pay Double.”
In true influencer fashion, Nicchi took to Instagram to post the scathing message. Shortly after, he made it official with a physical sign.
“We truly don’t care if you’re an Influencer, or how many followers you have,” Nicchi wrote. “We will never give you a free ice cream in exchange for a post on your social media page. It’s literally a $4 item … well now it’s $8 for you.”
About five years ago, Nicchi founded CVT, which stands for chocolate vanilla twirl. Over the past four years, he told CNN, he’s received an increasing amount of free ice cream requests from influencers.
Back in May, he shared an email on his Instagram from someone requesting CVT Soft Serve attend their influencer event. The words “HARD PASS” are scribbled in red letters across the email.
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If it’s public knowledge that anyone can purchase followers and likes, then why does an “influencer” hold weight? Let’s make hard work “huge right now.” Let’s make not asking people to work for free “huge right now.” We are not impressed or influenced by your “following”…you probably bought them.
The truck owner hit a breaking point when he received a request last Thursday to comp 300 servings of soft serve for “exposure.” Nicchi said he got “burned out” and decided to do something about it.
So far, no one has been charged double for their soft serve.
“We just posted the sign so no enforcement yet. Just some dirty looks from hipsters,” Nicchi said.
With celebrity customers like Bill Murray and Adam Levine, it’s no wonder he doesn’t care about the social media boost.
“Without sounding like a douchebag, I think our product speaks for itself,” Nicchi said. “The ice cream is the Influencer.”