Aflac cans Gilbert Gottfried for Japan jokes

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After more than a decade as the grating voice behind Aflac’s web-footed mascot, comedian Gilbert Gottfried has been fired for making jokes on Twitter about the devastating Japanese tsunami. On Saturday, Gottfried reportedly posted a series of about a dozen tweets making light of the natural disaster. They include such zingers as: “Japan is really advanced. They don’t go to the beach. The beach comes to them.” (All his posts have since been deleted.) “Gilbert’s recent comments about the crisis in Japan were lacking in humor and certainly do not represent the thoughts and feelings of anyone at Aflac,” Chief Marketing Officer Michael Zuna said. “Aflac Japan — and by extension, Japan itself — is part of the Aflac family, and there is no place for anything but compassion and concern during these difficult times.” It probably doesn’t help Gottfried’s case that Aflac does 75% of its business in Japan and had already pledged $1.2 million for recovery. Photo credit: Reuters.

@griner David Griner is creative and innovation editor at Adweek and host of Adweek's podcast, "Yeah, That's Probably an Ad."