Face of Kinder breaks silence


GERMANY: The smiling boy with the unearthly orange face and impossibly white teeth has smiled out from Kinder chocolate bars for the last three decades.

Now the bizarre boy without a name has outed himself. He is Günter Euringer, a 42-year-old father of two living near Munich and, no, he's not a millionaire.

"Most people think I am stinking rich . . . that I am paid per chocolate bar sold. I got 300 marks (€150) back then, for all the countries in the world," Euringer tells the Süddeutsche Zeitung magazine in an interview published yesterday.

He became the face of Kinder chocolate in 1973 after his mother, who worked in a Munich advertising agency, got compliments about her good-looking son. He was offered work posing for a photographer for a campaign for the Ferrero chocolate company.

"I was annoyed about the whole thing because it took so long and, while I smiled into the camera, I thought up the dirtiest swearwords for the photographer," Euringer says. "That's what I think of every time I see myself smiling from a Kinder chocolate wrapper."

Since then his face has been touched up every few years. The hair has been shortened, a hanging eyelid lifted, the teeth whitened and one tooth reshaped. And the ears in the picture are not his.

After a few proud years, he stopped telling people he was the Kinder boy. An urban legend circulated that the Kinder boy had graduated from chocolate to drugs and was in rehab.

After Euringer heard of several men claiming to be him, he decided to write his biography.

Ferrero appears annoyed as it has removed him from the packaging in Switzerland. Euringer is worried Germany is next. "If I am to disappear from the packaging after 30 years, then I at least want to go with a fanfare," he says.