NEW YORK -- What would Confucius say?
Just when it seems there's no surface left that advertisers haven't commandeered, an Internet firm has baked up a new recipe for self-promotion: tiny ads tucked inside fortune cookies.
The ads, for the Web site Half.com, began showing up this month on slips of paper folded into millions of cookies doled out to diners at Chinese restaurants nationwide.
The cookies, made by Wonton Food Inc., still tender the tidbits of wisdom Americans have long savored with their chow. But while the front of that slip of paper may tell you happiness and a long life are yours, the back offers $5 off your next purchase at the Web site.
Wonton Food is putting the ''save a Fortune at Half.com'' ads into 17 to 20 million of the 60 million Golden Bowl brand fortune cookies it makes each month at its New York plant, said Richard Leung, the company's vice president of sales and marketing.
The company has filled orders for promotional cookies for corporate customers, but it was up to the customers to hand out the cookies.
This is the first time Wonton Foods is baking ads into the cookies it ships to restaurant supply distributors.
Some recipients believe they've just won $5 off their dinner check, which has created some awkward situations for restaurants and distributors, Leung said. His company and Half.com have agreed to revise the text to make its intent more clear.
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