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Ice Cream Truck Rejects Internet Freeloaders

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An out-of-work Hollywood actor trying to make a living with a quirky ice cream truck business says he is sick of internet “influencers” asking for free food.

“Influencers pay double” is now his rallying cry. Joe Nicchi says that he (and other businesses in Hollywood and Los Angeles) have been plagued by self-proclaimed internet celebrities requesting (in some cases demanding) free ice cream in exchange for what they say is valuable publicity and advertising on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Nicchi took to his Instagram feed with his own message: “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.”

The trend has been growing in the last couple of years, with many businesses caving in to the apparent cheap “advertising,” but as with any viral trend, too many are now trying to jump on the bandwagon, even though so-called “influencer advertising” is now a billion-dollar industry. Some restaurants are even designing their layout and decor with social media in mind.

But Nicchi became fed up when he began receiving requests at least once a week and sometimes in person at his truck. He made up a sign reading “Influencers Pay Double” and of course immediately posted it to Instagram.

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