Saturday, November 01, 2003

Choco-Lies-Tong Yang's numbers do not add up

The Korean blog world has been roused by IA's scathing review of Jooang's love fest over the "Choco-pie". I am not too sure about if the puff piece was a paid puff piece. The snack does have a place in Korean's hearts.

IA does a pretty good job that of pointing out the laughable inconsitances and double-speak in the artice, so nothin much more to cover. I would though like to bring up one word that shows that the "inventor" is lying through is teeth. The line is "idea came to [the inventor] while in a hotel cafeteria on [a] tour [of the United States]". Now I want to know what hotel in the US has a "cafeteria"??? One might say that there is a translational problem, and cafeteria means resturant. However based on my, admitedly limited, knowlege of Korean there are exlcusive words for "Cafeteria" and "Resturant". The former means an establishment that serves only one, usually inexpensive, set meal that varys form day to day. Again I ask you, what kind of Hotel was he staying at??? The story alone just does not add up!

That is a secondary observation though. I wonder if anybody bothered to fact check this article. The claim that Tong Yang has sold one trillion won worth of pies seemed doubtful to me, considering the product, and the scale in which they make it. Today I decied to take a look at the specifics on the company. Sure enough the TOTAL sales last year for the company were only about 529 Billion Won. Now let me get the straight, Tong Yang in ONE YEAR has manged to sell much more than double its its revenue on Choco-pies?

Even if you did not want to get off your ass and look at the books, you could tell something was funny. The article claims that 8.5 billion pies have been sold since 1974. Choco-pies sell from Tong Yang in my off-the-top-of-my-head-estimation of 350 won per pie (usally 500 individualy, but remeber margins and bulk discounts). So 8.5 billion pies means revenue of about over 29 years of around 3 trillion won. Again let me get this straight, Tong Yang expects me to belive that it gained ONE THIRD of all its historic Choco-pie revenue  in ONE YEAR?

Why does not anybody look into this stuff? Are Korean newspapers corrupt, or simply incompetant?


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