Like our friends researching the automotive industry noticed, anything that connects your brand name to controversy has its repercussions.  In the article, Social Media – Chrysler, Aflac, and Shell  author Colleen McGrew notes examples of times when the automotive industry encountered tough situations with social media and highlighted a very interesting case with Aflac, the well known and widely used insurance company.  Aflac had long standing relationship with funnyman Gilbert Gottfried, who famously squawked into the microphone to impersonate the duck that gave the company a popular mascot and spread their brand.  His shtick had become a popular routine and a well known gimmick to draw in fans.  All was well, until the tragedy of the Japanese tsunami struck and Gottfried decided it was a great idea to tweet some jokes poking fun at the situation

Gottfried jokes forced Aflac to release a statement, saying that his comments in no way represent the sentiments of the insurance company. 

Aflac does 70 to 75 percent of its business in Japan, and with the tsunami, their stock prices have fallen 11 percent.  Now, along with losing a lot of good business, the company has to deal with this ignorant joker, who obviously has no grasp over the severity of the situation.

The lesson is, it is not just the company, and those within it, that can make comments that hurt image.  Anyone wearing your logo or advertising for you, advertently or inadvertently, bears the risk of hurting your name.


-Daniel Benn


~ by goodpackagedconsumers on October 22, 2012.