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Afl-fired – Tweets Get Gottfried Canned

March 15, 2011 | By | One Comment

Comedian Gilbert Gottfried has been fired as the voice of the Aflac duck after tweeting inappropriately about the Japanese tragedy. According to an article on The Huffington Post, one of the tweets read:

“I just split up with my girlfriend, but like the Japanese say, “They’ll be another one floating by any minute now.”

In a statement, the company, which does 75% of its business in Japan, said the comments “were lacking in humor and certainly do not represent the thoughts and feelings of anyone at Aflac.

This isn’t the first time that Gottfried has shown lack of taste in his sense of humor. Just three weeks after 9/11 he was making jokes about it. His Twitter stream reflects the same sense of humor which to many is tasteless and insensitive.  

The moral of the story for brands?

It is to listen. Not all brands can boast A-list (or even B-list) celebrities, but companies who aren’t tapped in cannot react in a nimble—and appropriate—way to messages gone wrong. And, as we see from Gottfried’s posts, the next PR debacle is only one tweet away.

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