California Ice Cream Truck Owner Charges ‘Gross’ Social Media Influencers Double

July 4, 2019 Updated: July 4, 2019

A Los Angeles-based ice cream truck owner is winning praise for his unusual policy towards social media influencers hitting him up for freebies.

Fed up with influencers asking for free ice cream in exchange for exposure, CVT owner Joe Nicchi shared on his social media pages that instead of folding to their requests, he would charge influencers double.

“We’ve decided to make this thing official with signage,” Nicchi shared on the Instagram profile of CVT, which stands for available ice cream flavors chocolate, vanilla, and twirl. “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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Mr. “You Can’t See Me” …sees me?!? Ah the irony. Thanks for the post @johncena

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Nicchi told People in an interview that increasing numbers of people claiming to be influencers asking for free stuff.

He said that just last week he “received a request for an event to comp them 300 servings in exchange for ‘exposure’ … I believe that’s an influencer’s favorite word.”

“I’m truly embarrassed for these people,” he told the publication. “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.”

Nicchi shared on his Instagram page an example of a request from a so-called influencer, which begins with a gushing “we love your food truck and think it’s a perfect fit with our brand,” followed by a suggestion of what he could gain by slinging his ice cream at the event.

“Influencer marketing is huge right now, and we estimate there will be a total social media following of over 10 million at the event. It’s a fantastic way to reach new audiences and gain exposure for CVT Soft Serve.”

“Would you be interested in joining us for the event?” the sender asked.

Nicchi wrote “HARD PASS” in all caps red font on the message and captioned his post: “If it’s public knowledge that anyone can purchase followers and likes, then why does an ‘influencer’ hold weight? Let’s make hard work ‘huge right now.’ Let’s make not asking people to work for free ‘huge right now.’ We are not impressed or influenced by your ‘following’…you probably bought them.”

Nicchi told CNN that he has not yet actually charged anyone for a cone at twice the price.

“We just posted the sign so no enforcement yet,” he said. “Just some dirty looks from hipsters.”

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The guy doesn’t even work here anymore!?! #ClassAct

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“I don’t really focus on anything but the product,” Nicchi told People. “I think if our ice cream is great, that the rest will hopefully fall into place via word of mouth and through reputable journalists.”

‘Mercedes Mum’ Starts GoFundMe Asking For $100,000 Because She Can’t Get A Job

The case recalls the story of a social media personality known for her lavish lifestyle who is trying to raise $100,000 on GoFundMe because she says she can’t get a job due to alleged police harassment.

Margarita Tomovska earned a name for herself as “Mercedes Mum” after allegedly leading Australian police on a chase in her luxury Mercedes Benz at speeds of up to 125 mph last November in New South Wales. The Daily Mail reported that during the high-speed pursuit, her toddler daughter sat in the backseat unrestrained. The car she was allegedly driving during the chase was said to be worth around $260,000, according to the report.

Now Tomovska claimed on GoFundMe she can’t get work because a special anti-crime unit of the New South Wales Police called Raptors “have something against me for no reason.”

“They have made it very hard for me to maintain a job as no one would hire me due to the [expletive] from raptor and ACA combined.”

ACA refers to “A Current Affair,” an Australian current affairs show that airs on the Nine Network. Tomovska was featured on an episode, which showed a reporter and camera crew confronting her on courthouse steps, asking uncomfortable questions.

“You seem to be lapping up the attention, Margarita,” a reporter on the program is heard asking. “Are you embarrassed at all by these charges? Or are you enjoying all this attention?”

Tomovska posts on social media regularly, showing off pricey designer clothes like a $1,725 Balmain dress and $2,400 Christian Louboutin shoes. She often poses beside luxury cars, such as a recent post that shows her perched on the trunk of a BMW M6 wearing Versace.

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Versaced out 👋🏼 #M6

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She wrote on her GoFundMe campaign page, “I know you all don’t know me but I’m actually not a bad person,” before claiming she was not the only one authorities were treating harshly.

“So I created this GoFund me [sic] to raise some support against the [expletive] that they have done to me and everyone else. It’s about time we fight back. Enough is enough!”

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Cause darling I’m a nightmare dressed like a daydream ❤️

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The Raptor task force specializes in breaking up criminal gangs, shutting down clubhouses, as well as seizing drugs and illegal weapons.

A spokeswoman for NSW Police told Daily Mail Australia that Tomovska has never been the target of Raptor investigators. She was pulled over by an officer from the strike force, but only because they had been on patrol when she was allegedly speeding.

Tomavska, who faced a license suspension following the speeding incident, is due back in court in August.

At the time of reporting, Tomovska’s campaign had amassed donations amounting to $1,200.

Follow Tom on Twitter: @OZImekTOM