COLUMBUS, Georgia, Sept. 14, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Aflac, the insurance company that helps employers provide workers with a financial safety net at no direct cost to their business, announced today that its beloved icon, the Aflac Duck, has been selected as a member of the 2011 class of the Platinum PR Hall of Fame. Selected by the editorial staff of PR News, Hall of Fame inductees were chosen from a pool of PR campaigns that have been in existence for at least three years and have had a significant impact in the public relations industry.
"The mass appeal of the Aflac Duck enables us to lead the way in integrating our message through a variety of avenues, including Facebook, Twitter and crowd sourcing initiatives like our search for a new voice for the Aflac Duck — leading to more sales opportunities for our 70,000 agents," Aflac Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer Michael Zuna said. "We are grateful to PR News for this tremendous honor."
The Aflac Duck campaign, launched in 2000, was previously honored with a place on Madison Avenue's Advertising Walk of Fame in 2004. The Aflac Duck has appeared in 53 U.S. television ads, as well as numerous print and online ads. The Aflac Duck also appears live at public events, generating substantial media coverage.
Since 2001, Aflac has sold an annual plush holiday Aflac Duck with all proceeds going to the company's primary philanthropic cause, childhood cancer. To date, the Aflac Duck has helped raise nearly $3 million for pediatric cancer treatment and research at the Aflac Cancer Center in Atlanta and for children's cancer hospitals across the nation. Altogether, Aflac has raised more than $65 million for childhood cancer since 1995.
"The Aflac Duck is more than a centerpiece for branding, PR and advertising initiatives — it's a character that seems to have a life of its own outside Aflac itself," Steve Goldstein, editorial director for PR News said. "It belongs in the PR News Platinum PR Awards Hall of Fame as a symbol of a campaign with legs and, in this case, webbed feet."
Induction ceremonies for 10 campaigns will take place today in New York City at the PR News Platinum PR Awards Luncheon. In addition to the Aflac Duck's induction, Aflac is a finalist in three categories for additional Platinum PR Awards, the winners of which will be announced at today's luncheon.
When a policyholder gets sick or hurt, Aflac pays cash benefits fast. For more than 55 years, Aflac insurance policies have helped provide a safety net and given policyholders the opportunity to focus on recovery, not financial stress. In the United States, Aflac is the number one provider of guaranteed-renewable insurance. In Japan, Aflac is the number one life insurance company in terms of individual policies in force. Aflac insurance products provide protection to more than 50 million people worldwide. For five consecutive years, Aflac has been recognized by Ethisphere magazine as one of the World's Most Ethical Companies and by Forbes magazine as one of America's Best-Managed Companies in the Insurance category. In 2011, Fortune magazine recognized Aflac as one of the 100 Best Companies to Work For in America for the 13th consecutive year. Also, Fortune magazine included Aflac on its list of Most Admired Companies for the 10th time in 2011. Aflac Incorporated is a Fortune 500 company listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol AFL. To find out more about Aflac, visit aflac.com or aflacenespanol.com.