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Samoas and Social Networking: Girl Scout Cookies Get Linked Up

Here it comes, every year. Cookie time: You're tight on cash, you just bought that new gym membership and you still have some of last year's Thin Mints in your freezer. Try as you might, you simply can't say no to a four-foot ball of freckles, nor her stacks of Samoas. Only after you bought 300 boxes of Tagalongs, you realize you don't even like Tagalongs.

This year, though, the Girl Scouts of America have drastically altered their marketing strategy. Gone are the toothy smiles and the door-to-door heart-string pulling. In its place are E-vites and Facebook messages. That's right, the Scouts and their staggering $700 million(!) cookie industry are storming the beaches of social media. As NPR reports, the nationwide initiative marks a significant change from last year, when one scout in North Carolina was reprimanded for posting a video on YouTube to sell her stash. This year, though, Scout authorities have changed their Trefoil tune and say that online hawking not only helps fill up their coffers, but that it gives young girls valuable experience in social media marketing, as well.

Much of the concern over last year's video controversy stemmed from fears that entrepreneurial Scouts would risk divulging personal information or falling victim to online predators. With a specially designed safety program from Microsoft, and with the help of watchful parents, though, troop leaders say they can now minimize risk and maximize sales. We're sure they'll continue to rake in the cash, but we have to admit that it's a bit sad to see something as institutional as the Girl Scout cookie campaign go impersonal. More than any other product, Girl Scout cookies have always been intrinsically linked to the uniformed sellers behind them. Inevitable, of course; but we can't help but feel that a major part of the Girl Scout mystique may soon become a thing of the past. That being said, go ahead and sign us up for a few crates of Lemon Chalet Cremes. [From: NPR]

Tags: GirlScoutCookies, GirlScouts, marketing, money, SocialMedia, socialnetworking, top