Federal Eye: Eye Opener: Fortune cookies promoting the Census

Happy Friday! Some Chinese food lovers in the Pacific Northwest enjoying a fortune cookie may soon get a fortune message that says,
“You are an incredibly smart, beautiful person who will enjoy great
success,” on one side and “Put down your chopsticks and get involved in
Census 2010” on the other.

The U.S. Census Bureau has paid $3,000 to a Seattle-based fortune cookie maker to add promotional
messages about the national headcount on the back of the cookie’s
one-line messages of encouragement. The deal is part of the agency’s
multimillion dollar outreach campaign that stretches across television,
radio, newspapers and the Internet in more than 20 languages.

“Somebody from my the regional office with the U.S. Census said, ‘Hey can you print a census message on the back,’ and I did,” said Timothy Louie, owner of the Tsue Chong Company.
His team produces 80,000 fortune cookies a day, roughly 400,000 a week
or about 20.8 million a year and sells them to restaurants in Idaho,
Montana, Oregon and Washington State. Louie’s shop will produce roughly
2 million cookies with the Census messages between now and early April
when census forms are due.

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