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. 

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. 

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. 


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. 


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.  


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. 
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. 


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.

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?