Aflac

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Aflac (Aflac Incorporated) is an insurance company known by its ads that feature a duck (which is voiced by comedian Gilbert Gottfried). The letters Aflac are from American Family Life Assurance Company, this long name being used to market its insurance products. Aflac sells supplemental health and life insurance for special conditions, particularly cancer. It is one of the largest such companies in the U.S. and also Japan. Its policies pay for hospital stay, emergencies, and medical appliances. [1]

Fake news

In a October 2007 story about how public relations firms are doing more to target satellite media tours (SMTs) -- sponsored and often scripted television "interviews" -- to local TV stations, PR Week noted that the firm Medialink Worldwide had recently "conducted an SMT for Aflac, in which Baseball Hall of Famer Ozzie Smith was interviewed by stations from various-sized markets."[2]

By mentioning "the All-American High School Baseball Classic, where the best high school players across the country are chosen to compete in the game," the SMT could be adapted for local markets. "[W]e had [Ozzie Smith] live in a studio, and we also had the list of the kids who had made the teams and the markets that they were from," explained Medialink's Michele Wallace. "When the company pitched WAGA in Atlanta to do the interview, it was therefore able to provide the station with access to local kids in the market who had made the team," noted PR Week. The trade publication did not mention if Aflac's sponsorship of the segments was disclosed to viewers.[2]

Political contributions

Aflac gave $1,465,500 to federal candidates in the 2006 election through its political action committee - 45% to Democrats, 55% to Republicans. [3]

Lobbying

The company spent $3,860,000 for lobbying in 2006. Six outside lobbying firms were paid $1,800,000 with the remainder being spent using in-house lobbyists. [4]

Personnel

Key executives with 2006 pay: [5]

Selected board members: [6]

Contact details

1932 Wynnton Rd.
Columbus, GA 31999
Phone: 706-323-3431
Fax: 706-324-6330
Web: http://www.aflac.com

SourceWatch resources

References

  1. Aflac Profile, Hoovers, accessed July 2007.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Irene Chang, "Bringing a broadcast's message home," PR Week, October 8, 2007.
  3. 2006 PAC Summary Data, Open Secrets, accessed July 2007.
  4. Aflac lobbying expenses, Open Secrets.
  5. Aflac Key Executives, Yahoo Finance, accessed July 2007.
  6. Board of Directors, Aflac, accessed July 2007.
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