Truth In Advertising Girl Scout Cookies

Charlotte McCourt sold over 15,000 boxes of Girl Scout cookies and did by doing something unusual – being gut-level honest. The 11-year-old tells customers: Trefoils? “Kind of boring.” Toffee-tastic? “As flavorless as dirt.” But not all her reviews are negative. She calls Savannah Smiles “divine.” The New Jersey sixth-grader was dismayed that only two of the boxes she had sold were marked to be donated to US military troops, so her father suggested she write a letter to a wealthy family friend who might be willing to donate a bunch. The result? A letter that described each cookie in brutally honest terms. It worked and the friend did indeed send 25 boxes of cookies to the troops, but it was a Facebook post that made Charlotte’s cookie sales hit warp speed. Charlotte’s dad, a writer and producer on the podcast “The Way I Heard It,” showed the letter to the show’s star, TV host-turned-podcaster Mike Rowe, who posted on his Facebook page a video of himself reading the letter and asking viewers to reward Charlotte’s honesty. “Send the message that when you tell the truth, good things happen,” Rowe said. She has now sold more than 15,000 boxes, and the video has more than 8 million views.

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