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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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.

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."

David Pavlich's picture

And I thought I was the only one that said 'more gooder'. :-)

michaeljin's picture

Curious to know if it's legal to do this.

Ryan Cooper's picture

Why wouldn't it be? "Influencers" aren't a protected group in any way. ;) (Are we about to coin the term "Influencerism"? ;) )

Rob Mitchell's picture

haha, totally took the new made-up word out of my mouth! :D

Marcus Joyce's picture

You could classify the consumption of the ice cream as "industrial use"...... So you have to pay more...

Studio 403's picture

Where I come from it’s called passive black-mail

michaeljin's picture

No clue. I guess I've never thought about the idea of applying discriminatory pricing based on a person's chosen profession (or what they may perceive to be their profession). So if you were running a restaurant, could you put up a sign that says that you charge double if they are a police officer? I've certainly seen people flat out deny service and I've seen people get discounts, but I don't think I've ever seen a food establishment raise the price on someone above what's listed on the menu for any reason. That's why I asked.

michaeljin's picture

1. Not USA.
2. Not USA.
3. Prices are not enforced and the whole thing is a social experiment (otherwise, it would definitely be illegal in the USA) and completely voluntary
4. This would be the closest to the situation here, although the restaurant could either argue that $5 is the price of coffee and there is a "politeness discount" or that those are the names of 3 separate menu items each with their own prices clearly listed.

It's a bit like how you're not allowed to charge extra if someone is paying with a credit card, but you are allowed to give a discount for paying with cash (suspiciously, this "discount" is usually the exact amount as the tax on the item). The end effect is the same thing, but it has to be framed a certain way

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