This Ice Cream Truck Is so Fed up With Instagram Influencers That It Charges Them Double

This Ice Cream Truck Is so Fed up With Instagram Influencers That It Charges Them Double

Social media influencers are known for drawing the ire of photographers and other businesses when they request free products and services in exchange for that ever-nebulous thing known as "exposure." Fed up with the ridiculous requests he has received, the owner of a famous L.A. ice cream truck has made it his new policy that influencers pay double. 

Joe Nicchi is the owner of the CVT Soft Serve ice cream truck in LA, and he's about had it with social media influencers asking for free ice cream and catering in exchange for shout-outs on their accounts. The straw that broke the camel's back came last week, when Nicchi says: 

[I] got an event request to do a party on a weekend for 300 people in exchange for the word [influencers] love to use, which is 'exposure.' I can't do that; I can't work for free.

Fed up, Nicchi made the sign you see below, hanging it on the truck. 

The post has gained a ton of traction and support, particularly from businesses that deal with these sorts of requests on a daily basis. Nicchi doubled down on his stance a few days later, creating a second post with the caption:

We couldn’t care less about how many followers you have, and we’re super embarrassed for you when you tell us.

Who wants to come get some ice cream with me? 

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90 Comments
David Pavlich's picture

Now that's what I'm talkin' about!

LA M's picture

Another Unsplash "stock" image?

Alex Cooke's picture

Nope, we bought it.

Patrick Hall's picture

Damned if we do, damned if we don’t

Logan Cressler's picture

So you are pissed when they use free images, and you are pissed when they pay people for their images. Perhaps this photography site should have a no images at all policy? Would that make you happy?

Jesus this community is full of edge lords just wanting to be offended by anything they can find to be offended by,

Tony Clark's picture

Because "likes" don't pay the bills. I immediately followed him on Instagram and would support his business if I weren't on the East Coast.

Robert Feliciano's picture

+1 for proper usage: "We couldn’t care less..."

Nick Haynes's picture

Does he know the difference between acronyms and abbreviations, I wonder? :)

Jordan McChesney's picture

Don’t forget initialisms

Andre Goulet's picture

Pet peeve of mine!

Vincent Alongi's picture

When you go to his site, there is a section for swag... with the title, "Would you like to be an unpaid walking billboard for our business? Buy stuff!"

No thanks, dude. Following your logic... I'll charge YOU $25 to walk around in your shirt. Actually, let's make that $50 in keeping up with your message of double the price.

michaeljin's picture

He's pretty honest about what swag actually is.

Christian Lainesse's picture

This is hilarious considering most photographers will caption their photos with the camera brand, lens brand, etc. and walk around with their camera branded neck strap...

Vincent Alongi's picture

I'm so dead-against giving brand recognition unless I'm compensated to do so. That said, I've hashtagged my camera and lens manufacturers on IG in the past, and need to make sure I'm not doing that at the moment.

Paul Lindqvist's picture

LIke the influencers, the Ice Cream truck is talking about your seem to overvalue your hashtags .. :-)

Deleted Account's picture

I got my branded strap with the camera. Also, I have never taken a Sharpie to the brand markings on the camera.

Vincent Alongi's picture

Taking a sharpie to brand markings would be a bit much. I also wouldn't want to diminish any resale value.

Steve White's picture

I do have a strap with no name on it. I'd get rid of the branding on my shirt but the threads on that little horse are so darned fine...

Vincent Alongi's picture

Everyone has a choice as to how to spend their money. I edge away from advertising that goes above and beyond, I just don't feel the need to push a brand. Buying a Ralph Lauren shirt with the horse? Yeah. Buying a Ralph Lauren shirt with extra-large logos and lettering? Not for me, but to each his own.

As for the Ice cream man and his swag, I find it a little ironic. I wish him well in running his business, but I'm not paying him to advertise for him. Much like taking a job for exposure isn't in my playbook either.

Hashtags? Overvalued, yes. And if you can figure out the algorithm, all the power to you as well.

Paul Lindqvist's picture

Vincent, you missed the point, I was commenting on the notion you are advertising a brand because you use a hashtag.

Vincent Alongi's picture

Paul, I am missing the point since your remark isn’t all that clear to me as it’s coming across above.

When I hashtag (I do), it’s to make the post visible. I’ve pushed the brands into a hashtag in the past but don’t anymore for reasons I’ve stated earlier.

Paul Lindqvist's picture

So you think you should be compensated for using a hashtag with a brand name, like your camera and lens?

If so I assume your dead against metadata showing the brand and model of your camera and lens as well?

Vincent Alongi's picture

I do not think I should be compensated for hashtagging a brand, no.

If someone wants to dig into the metadata, that’s up to them. I’m just not going out of my way to proactively push any brand... unless I’m being compensated.

Paul Lindqvist's picture

Consider you post your images on 500px which clearly display the Metadata and camera brand and model that should be a no for you as well, given your logic on hashtags.

Vincent Alongi's picture

Again, I’m not out to hide details in metadata.

When I’m publishing something on other social media sites (which is what I predominantly do to get my work out there for view), that information isn’t provided. I just don’t utilize 500px as much as I have in the past. So.... it’s not something I’m concerned with. Is it linked in my website? Yes. Do I care? Hell no. My gear is also listed in my profile here... but again... don’t care I’m not on Fstoppers to advertise my work, or push brands.

Paul Lindqvist's picture

Got to love your logic...:-)

Vincent Alongi's picture

I'm not concerned with anyone's judgment. But thanks for your concern.

Black Z Eddie .'s picture

It amazes me how some people can have an apple on one hand and an orange on the other and think they are the same thing.

Vincent Alongi's picture

I believe they're the same thing in this case. Don't ask me to pay you to walk around with your billboard on my chest.

Patrick Hall's picture

There are three different scenarios here from the influencer’s perspective:

1) give me something for free and I’ll promote it (ice cream)

2) I’ll pay you to promote your own stuff (ice cream t shirts)

3) I bought something and promote it because I like it (logo on camera strap)

Vincent Alongi's picture

I don't think "influencer" has anything to do with your three points. You don't need to be one to hit on any of them.

With that, I'll still personally avoid acting on those three points. That's me. You (or anyone) can act as you see fit- it's a free country. Unless someone's advertising budget is earmarked for me, I'm not contributing to their marketing campaign. Again, it's akin to doing something for exposure.

Patrick Hall's picture

So do you remove every logo from everything you buy? Do you drink sodas from a red cup? Black out your laptop logo?

Vincent Alongi's picture

May want to read what I’ve put up here if you’re so concerned. I’ve already spoken my peace.

Between yourself and Black Eddie, I haven’t come across a pair of guys so concerned about my views. It’s pretty sad, fellas.

It’s a free country, if you disagree... your prerogative. I don’t really care one way or another.

Black Z Eddie .'s picture

They are not the same thing. Here's why:

On one hand, the visitor of the the website deals with the website directly. The visitor can choose to buy something, or not buy something. There's no interaction between them and the owner. The owner does not have to look at them, hear them, smell them, or reply to them. We'll call this "apple".

On the other hand, you have freeloaders under the guise of "exposure" peppering and pestering the owner for free ice cream. He has to look at them, listen to them, smell them, and reply to them. And, this would be "orange".

Vincent Alongi's picture

And I’ll stand by my comments. If you’re a business owner who’s approached, you have the simple option of saying “thanks but no thanks”. I have done it, I still do it, and it’s no skin off of my back.

Peppered? Pestering? Where has this been evident?

Black Z Eddie .'s picture

--"And I’ll stand by my comments. If you’re a business owner who’s approached, you have the simple option of saying “thanks but no thanks”. I have done it, I still do it, and it’s no skin off of my back."

Are you a popular business owner having to say no constantly? Yeah, I didn't think so. Let's be honest, more people are going to approach him for free stuff than approach you. So, for you, it's easy peasy to say no.

--"Peppered? Pestering? Where has this been evident?"

The fact he was fed up and posted on his IG and made the sign. Really? You don't see that? I guess I shouldn't be surprised. Do people have to hold your hand for everything?

Vincent Alongi's picture

Photography is not my main source of income. And indeed, I’m approached more often than not on freebies. I value my time, and turn that stuff down. Next.

The ice cream man was triggered enough to post this. It could have been once, twice, whatever. Apparently you’re drawing conclusions on the amount of times without knowing the facts.

Dude, sit down.

Black Z Eddie .'s picture

Well, there is such thing as common sense, which you seem to lack. He has celebrities with their kids coming to this business. You're delusional if you think your business garners the same level of freeloaders as his does.

Vincent Alongi's picture

Who said I do? Your assumptions are wildly off.

Kid, go troll somewhere else. Your angry act is old.

Black Z Eddie .'s picture

Son, you're old enough to know, I'd hope, when you spew enabling SJW BS, someone's going to call you out on it.

Vincent Alongi's picture

You’re barking up the wrong tree, skippy.

Again... if you disagree, your issue, not mine. If I’m called out by you or anyone else... it’s not a debate to me. You’re only twisting your own panties.

If you want to ask me my views and preferences, go ahead. If you want to rip them apart? Knock yourself out.

Black Z Eddie .'s picture

Man up and put away the Kleenex. You do realize you are in a forum environment. We inform. We discuss. We debate. Sometime people agree, sometimes people disagree. Don't take it personal. It would behoove you to grow some skin.

Vincent Alongi's picture

Ummmm.... I’m not crying over anything. On the contrary, I just really don’t care about your take on my views one way or another.

But keep trying. It will get you far.

Black Z Eddie .'s picture

--"Ummmm.... I’m not crying over anything. On the contrary, I just really don’t care about your take on my views one way or another."

Oh, really? Scroll up. If it's not too strenuous for you, count the number of times you've replied so far. LOL!

Vincent Alongi's picture

Oh, Eddie. Maybe you log on here at night after a long day and look to take out your aggressions on the world over trivial crap. Going at someone because you disagree with them... 😂

Studio 403's picture

Thinking these so called “influential” IG folks just figured out a new twist on entitlement. So, lets see. I think Whole Foods, aka whole paycheck should give me free grocery’s and I will rave about their high costs. Rant for the day

Patrick Hall's picture

It all comes down to audience. If you have a massive audience, I’m sure Whole Foods would pay you. If there is value in advertising I don’t have a problem with this at all.

Studio 403's picture

Well said

Black Z Eddie .'s picture

Whenever I see the word "influencer", I picture this, "Can we like have free stuff and we can like promote you on our Instagram and you can like get exposure. It's more gooder for everyone."

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