Since the inception of Instagram, people with a large number of followers often proclaim themselves as influencers. 

Though a lot of influencers promote businesses positively, it gets difficult to understand who is real and who is fake, just by looking at the number of followers they have. 

Source: Jing Daily

A lot of times brands end up giving away a lot of free goodies and accessories in hope of getting people's attention through these multiple influencers. 


But not everyone gets equally impressed by a swarm of influencers claiming to be mini-celebs and hogging all the free stuff in exchange for a few odd likes. 

Just like Joe Nicchi, Owner, CVT Soft Serve, one of the most popular ice-cream trucks in Los Angeles. 

Source: Daily Trojan

Nicchi has had the same demand from multiple self-proclaimed influencers, who always walked in for free ice creams, promising to post about his truck on their social accounts. 

But Nicchi always refused. 

Source: Vice

But after struggling to push them away initially, Nicchi came out with an incredible idea to teach these so-called influencers a lesson. 

Posting a sign that says "influencers pay double", Nicchi went viral on the internet. 

Source: Stuff

He posted the image on instagram with the hashtag #InfluencersAreGross and it spread around the globe, ultimately benefiting him and attracting more customers towards his ice-cream truck.  

Source: Stagramer

Nicchi, who also works as an actor, agreed that 'promotion' is a way of life and spoke to the Guardian, saying: 

We’re the anti-influencer influencers. It’s weird … but I think it’s really fun. I hope it inspires small businesses to hold their own and tell people to fuck off.

This is a money-making thing. I can’t give away my ice-cream for free. They love using the word ‘exposure’, it’s so ridiculous. 
Source: CTV News

Remembering a particularly offensive incident, Nicchi recalls, how an assistant to a famous actor (he declined to name) visited his truck and asked for free ice-creams for the entire crew and cast. 

In exchange, the actor offered to take a photo at his truck. 

Source: Giphy

Nicchi had this to say in return: 

As much as I’d love to do that, I don’t think my kid’s school accepts celebrity photos as a form of tuition payment.
Source: Giphy

So now you know why Nicchi eventually put up that anti-influencer sign at the truck, to make it very clear to everyone that whomsoever wants ice-creams for free, will have to pay double. 

$8 for a $4 ice-cream for an influencer. Are you one?