An 11-year-old Girl Scout from New Jersey is making headlines after her brutally honest cookie review resulted in over 17,000 boxes (and counting!) of cookies sold. Charlotte McCourt is the proud saleswoman behind the review who believed that honest advertising was the ticket to cookie-selling success.
Boy, was she right. Charlotte’s story began with a desire to sell 300 boxes of cookies, knowing she was fully capable of matching her prior year’s sales.
Charlotte became concerned because of her 92 boxes sold, only 2 were earmarked to be sent overseas to US military troops. Her parents, like many supportive Girl Scout parents, suggested that a friend of theirs might be willing to purchase a few boxes from their daughter.
“Sean [Charlotte’s father] said to her, ‘I have a wealthy friend in Colorado and I texted him and he said he’d donate to the troops, but why don’t you write him a letter,’” explained Charlotte’s mom, Beth McCourt.
“Sean gave her his laptop and she took it in her bedroom and wrote and emailed the letter to him.” Charlotte’s father was so charmed by the resulting letter that he couldn’t help but send it to his coworker, who just happens to be Mike Rowe.
Rowe, a television host most known for his work on “Dirty Jobs,” was in hysterics after reading Charlotte’s frank review of each Girl Scout cookie. She gave each cookie a rating from 1-10, along with a brief description of the good, the bad, and the ugly pertaining to each variety.
“My name is Charlotte and I love being honest with my clients,” she began. “The girl scout organization can sometimes use false advertising.”
Setting the record straight, Charlotte told her client to steer clear of the Do-si-dos (“unoriginal,” “bland”) and the Trefoils, unless you plan to pair it with a warm drink. “I give it a 6 because alone, it’s kinda boring.”
“The Toffee-tastic is a bleak, flavorless, gluten-free wasteland,” the sixth grader wrote. “I’m telling you, it’s as flavorless as dirt.”
As Rowe was left in stitches over Charlotte’s honesty, he applauded her for giving people exactly what they want out of advertising: honesty. After his video went viral with over 8 million views, Charlotte’s cookie sales began to explode.
“It’s been surreal. And almost crazy, but I really like it,” a grinning Charlotte said. “I like how the people at school kind of recognize me more, as like, a person. And it’s helping the troops.”
“Charlotte and I have both received notes from soldiers who talk about the outsized impact a box of cookies can have on their morale,” Rowe wrote on Facebook. “It’s not about the thin mints,” said one. “Or the Samoa or the Tagalog or even the ‘bland and tasteless Toffee-tastic.’”
“It’s about knowing someone back home is thinking of you,” the soldier continued. “It matters, more than you know.”