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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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.

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