While some businesses may be open to the idea of exchanging free products/services for some social media exposure, one ice cream truck in Los Angeles is having none of it. Tired of influencers asking for free ice cream in exchange for a social media mention, CVT Soft Serve has introduced a new policy – ‘Influencers Pay Double’.
The new policy was first mentioned last week in an Instagram post:
“We couldn’t care less about how many followers you have, and we’re super embarrassed for you when you tell us,” CVT Soft Serve asserted.
This was followed up with a more “official” post earlier this week:
“We’ve decided to make this thing official with signage,” read the caption. “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. #InfluencersAreGross.”
Speaking to Newsweek, CVT Soft Serve co-founder Joe Nicchi said that he came up with the policy after he grew tired of people constantly trying to get free ice cream in exchange for social media 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,” Nicchi 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,” he added.
As per a report by Vice, Nicchi was driven to introduce the ‘Influencers Pay Double’ policy after being approached to cater a party of 300. The payment offered? “Exposure.”
“I can’t do that; I can’t work for free,” Nicchi said, adding that exposure can’t pay his bills.
The new policy attracted a great deal of attention on social media, with most users expressing their appreciation for CVT Soft Serve’s move.
This isn’t the first time CVT Soft Serve has expressed its disdain for influencers demanding free ice cream. The ice cream truck’s Instagram is peppered with posts which slam bloggers asking for freebies, and the hashtag #influencersaregross appears to be a particular favorite.
Since CVT’s new policy went viral, Nicchi has been flooded with appreciative messages from around the world, some of which he has posted on Instagram.
Founded in 2012 by Nicchi and his wife, CVT (which stands for Chocolate Vanilla Twist) offers a simple, straightforward menu – chocolate ice cream, vanilla, or a combination of the two, with the option of either sprinkles or sea salt as toppings. While Nicchi’s new policy may be off-putting to influencers, CVT is likely to suffer no major damage owing to the lack of “exposure”. The ice cream truck was named Best Food Truck in LA by LA Weekly during its opening year, made it to the top of Los Angeles magazine’s 2017 best food truck listings, and was listed among Best Dessert Food Trucks in 2018.