By now, many of you may have heard about comedian Gilbert Gottfried's insensitive and very ill-timed tweets, attempting to make light of the ongoing tragedy in Japan. Aflac quickly fired Gottfried, the voice of the Aflac duck. The insurer was morally right to terminate Gottfried, and likely had a clause in its contract that the arrangement could be terminated if the comedian intentionally brought any harm to Aflac's reputation and standing with customers—a good portion of whom are in Japan.
The episode also points to another matter that needs to be considered by insurance companies as well: the liability incurred by employee statements in social media forums. The Federal Trade Commission is already cracking down on statements made in social media forums by corporate representatives.
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