This Ice Cream Truck Owner Hates Influencers So Much He Charges Them Double

It’s hard enough to have to scroll past a self-described influencer’s pics in your Instagram feed, hard enough not to let your eyes roll into the back half of your skull when you see them trying to look pensive while pretending to shop at Kohl’s or whatever. So imagine how intolerable it must be to have to actually deal with them on a business level, to have to read countless emails asking for free stuff in exchange for an @- on social media or a two-second shoutout on their Instagram story.

Joe Nicchi knows how much it sucks. At least once a week, some rando who thinks they’re somebody because they have a four- or five-digit social media following asks for a free cone—or a lot of free cones—from his acclaimed Los Angeles ice cream truck, CVT Soft Serve. He’s occasionally responded to those emails with, shall we say, salty responses (he’s used “I’d rather vacation in North Korea” or “I’d rather stick my junk in a beehive”), but last week, he decided that he’d had enough.

“Last Thursday, I got an event request to do a party on a weekend for 300 people in exchange for the word they love to use, which is ‘exposure,'” Nicchi told VICE. “I can’t do that; I can’t work for free.”

He made a sign (“as kind of a joke”) that said INFLUENCERS PAY DOUBLE in bold letters, and posted it on the truck when he worked at the Melrose Trading Post. He also shared the photo on CVT’s own Instagram page. “We truly don’t care if you’re an Influencer, or how many followers you have,” he 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.” He punctuated it with the hashtag #InfluencersAreGross.

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