An ice cream truck owner has had enough of social media influencers, reports People.
LA’s CVT Soft Serve owner Joe Nicchi revealed social media influencers request free cones in exchange for exposure. The influencers contact the truck owner online and in person trying to negotiate a deal. Last Thursday, the company was asked to serve 300 people without compensation. Instead, the business was offered free publicity.
CVT Soft Serve uploaded a screenshot of the email onto their Instagram account with “hard pass” written over the message.
“I’m truly embarrassed for these people,” Nicchi told People. “I’m not really 100 percent sure what they actually do, and their followers, likes, and comments can all be purchased, so I have trouble looking at them as being reputable.”
It is reasonable for the business owner to question the legitimacy of the supposed social media stars. Inc. noted companies are sinking thousands into the promise of exposure without returned value. Many influencers who seek out freebies typically do not have the audience they claim. At most, they contribute to just a few sales.
In addition, The New York Times reported that there is a global market for social media fraud. A popular company called Devumi sells Twitter followers to over 200,000 customers. It is believed 48 million Twitter users are automated accounts.
To combat the influencers vying for freebies, Nicchi took to social media. CVT Soft Serve posted a photo on Instagram depicting the ice cream purveyor holding a sign that says “influencers pay double.”
“We truly don’t care if you’re an Influencer…” the caption reads. “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.”
The post has since gone viral, giving the ice cream truck more exposure than any influencer could have managed. Recent photos show long lines at the truck’s stop in Burbank.
However, Nicchi does not believe his truck needs additional advertisement. He attributes his store’s success to the quality of his products.
“I think if our ice cream is great, that the rest will hopefully fall into place via word of mouth and through reputable journalists,” stated Nicchi.
CVT Soft Serve is successful on its own accord. Eater Los Angeles has named the truck one of the best ice cream shops in the area. The truck was also recently hired out by Adam Levine and celebrity pastry chef, Jacque Torres.
Follow CVT’s Twitter to find out where the ice cream truck will stop next.