LAT fails to expose Girl Scout consumer ripoff

Back when I had a job, and an office, and all that, I’d always fear the onset of Girl Scout Cookie season. Nothing against the Girl Scouts, or their cookies — which can be quite tasty. But I was under the thought (delusion, evidently), that Girl Scouts were supposed to sell the treats; fund-raising for their troops, but also teaching them salesmanship, teamwork, and other life lessons.

None of which occurred when certain members of our office staff, parents of Girl Scouts, would come in and essentially dare the rest of us not to buy the cookies they were selling on behalf of their progeny. This wasn’t salesmanship, it was extortion (there was the implicit threat that the mothers in question could make life very difficult for us). At best, it showed the girls how to foist their work off on others. I hated the whole thing, as much as I hate Halloween — which I’ll get to if we’re all here in October.


In today’s L.A. Times‘s Business section, staffer Tiffany Hau (one of those who remain after the paper’s most recent purging of 70 newsroom employees), reports that the current recession has touched Girl Scout cookies.

…the Girl Scouts of the USA has decided to package fewer cookies into boxes of Thin Mints, Do-si-dos and Tagalongs and to shrink the Lemon Chalet Creme cookies.

“In order to give the customer the product they’re used to, instead of raising the price, this was the only alternative: lowering the weight of the cookies rather than asking the customers to pay more,” said Michelle Tompkins, a Girl Scouts spokeswoman.

Particularly as this press release item is in a section called “Consumer Briefs,” one might expect Hau to point out that, however the Girl Scouts sugarcoat it, consumers are still getting less cookie for the same amount of money.

But, of course, she doesn’t.

She does let us know — in another, unrelated piece in the same section — that her boyfriend is named Erik.