INFLUENCER FAIL: Brutal sign wins over the internet
When it comes to seeking out a freebie, this ice cream truck's owner has had enough.
In fact, the owner of CVT Soft Serve in Los Angeles is so annoyed by social media "influencers" asking for free ice cream in exchange for a mention on social media, he has announced a new policy.
Ask for a free cone (which normally costs just $4) and you have to pay double.
This week, the business' social media page posted a picture on Instagram of an employee holding a sign reading "Influencers pay double."
Captioned next to the photo, which has received over 1k likes, the post detailed how little they care about so-called "influencers".
"We've decided to make this thing official with signage. We truly don't care if you're an Influencer, or how many followers you have.
"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"
The captioned finished with #InfluencersAreGross
In an interview with Newsweek, CVT co-founder Joe Nicchi said he launched the policy after becoming "burned out" by the number of "influencers" trying to get free ice cream in exchange for their posts.
"L.A. is full of so-called 'influencers' with large followings that are actually fake because they most likely paid for likes and follows," he said.
"Anyone can have a following if they want to pay for it. Google 'social media bots'.
"The 2019 version of 'Do you know who I am?' is 'I'm an influencer,' but without the talent."
The company said they were "embarrassed" when an "influencer" bragged how many followers they had to try and get a free ice cream cone.
"We cater for some pretty big A-list talent in Hollywood, and I have no interest in giving them free product," he said.
"I have a family and plenty of bills to pay! My kids' school doesn't take celebrity photos as a form of tuition payment."
CVT Soft Serve - which stands for "Chocolate Vanilla Twist" - launched in 2012 in Los Angeles by Mr Nicchi and his wife, Tyler.
Their business model is simple - good ice cream with the option of sprinkles. That's it.
The policy has won over social media, with users congratulating the small business for taking a stand against influencers hoping to nab a freebie.
"Awesome, keep it up, charge triple even," one person said on Instagram.
"Very tacky of the influencer that reached out to you to serve 300 for free. I will gladly pay $4 dollars for a cone (because I love ice cream) and post just to spread the word," another added.
To the LA ice cream truck man tired of “social-media influencers” trying to get free ice cream that he makes them pay double— R E S P E C T .— cale (@DEKOsound) July 1, 2019
Mr Nicchi said he was truly embarrassed" for these people who ask for a freebie when visiting his truck.
"I'm sure there are some legitimate 'influencers' out there, but we haven't come across any at our trucks or through event requests."