Ice cream man slams influencers who ask for free food – and charges them double

Ice cream man slams influencers who ask for free food – and charges them double

Many brands are happy to dole out goodies to Instagram users with thousands of followers.

They send these so-called 'influencers' free clothing, make-up, food and offer them trips and experiences, in return for a post or two on social media.

But one man has had enough of this bizarre exchange and has decided to put a stop to influencers attempting to benefit off of his business.

Joe Nicchi, who has been running the ice cream truck CVT Soft Serve in Los Angeles for the last three years, says he will charge anyone claiming to be an influencer double for one of his sweet treats.

The 38-year-old claims to have been inundated with requests for freebies in exchange for photos of his chocolate and vanilla twist ice cream being shared on Instagram or Facebook .

Speaking to Metro about his decision, he said: "I finally burned out.

"I made a sign to charge anyone that mentions they're an influencer double. I posted about it on Sunday, yesterday one of my customers posted about it on Reddit and it was up-voted to the front page.

"Yes, it's great to have free press for my business, but I'm truly thrilled to expose the fact that anyone can buy followers, comments and likes and that these so-called influencers hold no actual weight.

"It's all smoke and mirrors."

Joe, who is originally from New York, continues to say that his ice creams only cost $4 each (£3.18) so aren't too much for most people to afford.

"There's no reason they can't support us. I don't know what they actually do," he adds. "I'm honestly embarrassed for them when they say they're an influencer or tell me how many followers they have.

"This whole episode shows that I’m not alone in my thinking of how ridiculous they are."

Announcing his new rule on Instagram, he wrote: "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.  #InfluencersAreGross "

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