Aflac paid the price for a Tweet it didn't even send. In March 2011, comedian Gilbert Gottfried fired off a series of tweets that joked about the devastating Japanese earthquake and tsunami, including, "I just split up with my girlfriend, but like the Japanese say, 'They'll be another one floating by any minute now.'"
Gottfried, who had long provided the familiar voice of the Aflac duck, was immediately fired. He apologized, saying, "I meant no disrespect, and my thoughts are with the victims and their families."
Although Aflac bounced back from the Twitter backlash, Gottfried's offensive tweet cost the company its voice, Parks says.