Hard Choices: Stifling the AFLAC Duck

Photograph by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images

Last March, AFLAC Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Dan Amos was busy dealing with the fallout from the tsunami in Japan—where 75 percent of his company’s insurance business is situated—when he got a phone call that presented him with an unexpected choice: Should he or shouldn’t he fire the company’s long-time spokesman Gilbert Gottfried over some tasteless tsunami-related jokes the comedian had made on Twitter? Given the inevitable PR damage that was bound to happen, Amos didn’t have much time to decide.

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