Welcome!

News Feed Item

Italian American One Voice Coalition Denounces Offensive AFLAC Commercial

Organization moves to cease broadcast of ad depicting Italian Americans in unfavorable light through use of negative stereotypes

BLOOMFIELD, N.J., Jan. 14, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The Italian American One Voice Coalition (IAOVC), an anti-defamation group that includes multiple Italian American organizations, expressed dismay and disgust with the airing of the recent AFLAC commercial, depicting the kidnapping of the iconic AFLAC Duck by characters that are clearly meant to portray Italian Americans in a bad light.

"The Ad uses negative stereotypes of characters obviously meant to portray Italian Americans which are unacceptable and should be immediately removed," said Manny Alfano, IAOVC President in a letter to AFLAC representatives. "The commercial's intent is to ridicule Italian Americans – and an apology is in order." Alfano further requested a meeting with AFLAC executives and the immediate cessation of broadcasting the commercial, which was aired during The Sun Bowl and ABC's New Year's Rockin' Eve. The commercial is also slated to air during the Super Bowl, which is among the most viewed programs in America, increasing the concern of IAOVC. 

The ad tastelessly has the AFLAC Duck kidnapped by alleged mobsters, portrayed by an actor known for playing Italian American gangster images. They pat the Duck down, threaten him and then dump him from a moving limo.

IAOVC expressed surprise and dismay at the content of the ad since AFLAC has generally been known for humorous, family oriented themes in their advertising and a sensitivity to social and ethnic concerns, as evidenced by the swift removal of the inventor of the AFLAC Duck voice, Gilbert Gottfried, when he joked about Japanese people in the aftermath of a tsunami. Gottfried was fired less than 48 hours after the jokes appeared. Michael Zuna, the well-known and respected Chief of Marketing for AFLAC, headed the action in replacing Gottfried, yet enthusiastically embraced and introduced the new ad. The contradiction and hypocrisy of his actions only serve to highlight that Italian Americans continue to be a group that is consistently maligned and that the "open season" on the Italian American character and heritage continues and is considered acceptable at the highest levels of corporate America.

It is the position of IAOVC that this continued maligning creates a never ending, negative image of Italian Americans, despite their enormous contributions to this nation. The cavalier attitude of Michael Zuna, CMO and Dan Amos, Chairman and CEO of AFLAC, in promoting this ad sends a message that ethnic and bias attacks are acceptable and continue to be the norm. Additionally, Alfano points out that this is an old tired image, increasingly perpetuated over the last 40 years in the American media. "It is neither innovative nor humorous, but it is undoubtedly and clearly offensive," Alfano stated.

The Italian American One Voice Coalition is a group dedicated solely to fighting defamation, negative stereotyping and discrimination against Italian Americans. It is a national group, based in New Jersey.

For further information, contact:

Sebastian D"Elia

Email

Director of Communications,

Italian American One Voice Coalition

www.iaovc.org

908-770-3662

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/pages/Italian-American-One-Voice-Coalition/135948066450379?ref=br_tf

Twitter: https://twitter.com/IAOneVoice

Read more news from Italian American One Voice Coalition.

 

SOURCE Italian American One Voice Coalition

More Stories By PR Newswire

Copyright © 2007 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PRNewswire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of PRNewswire. PRNewswire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

Latest Stories
When it comes to IoT in the enterprise, namely the commercial building and hospitality markets, a benefit not getting the attention it deserves is energy efficiency, and IoT's direct impact on a cleaner, greener environment when installed in smart buildings. Until now clean technology was offered piecemeal and led with point solutions that require significant systems integration to orchestrate and deploy. There didn't exist a 'top down' approach that can manage and monitor the way a Smart Buildi...
In the world of DevOps there are ‘known good practices’ – aka ‘patterns’ – and ‘known bad practices’ – aka ‘anti-patterns.' Many of these patterns and anti-patterns have been developed from real world experience, especially by the early adopters of DevOps theory; but many are more feasible in theory than in practice, especially for more recent entrants to the DevOps scene. In this power panel at @DevOpsSummit at 18th Cloud Expo, moderated by DevOps Conference Chair Andi Mann, panelists will dis...
So, you bought into the current machine learning craze and went on to collect millions/billions of records from this promising new data source. Now, what do you do with them? Too often, the abundance of data quickly turns into an abundance of problems. How do you extract that "magic essence" from your data without falling into the common pitfalls? In her session at @ThingsExpo, Natalia Ponomareva, Software Engineer at Google, will provide tips on how to be successful in large scale machine lear...
Digital payments using wearable devices such as smart watches, fitness trackers, and payment wristbands are an increasing area of focus for industry participants, and consumer acceptance from early trials and deployments has encouraged some of the biggest names in technology and banking to continue their push to drive growth in this nascent market. Wearable payment systems may utilize near field communication (NFC), radio frequency identification (RFID), or quick response (QR) codes and barcodes...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Peak 10, Inc., a national IT infrastructure and cloud services provider, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Peak 10 provides reliable, tailored data center and network services, cloud and managed services. Its solutions are designed to scale and adapt to customers’ changing business needs, enabling them to lower costs, improve performance and focus inter...
You think you know what’s in your data. But do you? Most organizations are now aware of the business intelligence represented by their data. Data science stands to take this to a level you never thought of – literally. The techniques of data science, when used with the capabilities of Big Data technologies, can make connections you had not yet imagined, helping you discover new insights and ask new questions of your data. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Sarbjit Sarkaria, data science team lead ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Ericsson has been named “Gold Sponsor” of SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York, New York. Ericsson is a world leader in the rapidly changing environment of communications technology – providing equipment, software and services to enable transformation through mobility. Some 40 percent of global mobile traffic runs through networks we have supplied. More than 1 billion subscribers around the world re...
We're entering the post-smartphone era, where wearable gadgets from watches and fitness bands to glasses and health aids will power the next technological revolution. With mass adoption of wearable devices comes a new data ecosystem that must be protected. Wearables open new pathways that facilitate the tracking, sharing and storing of consumers’ personal health, location and daily activity data. Consumers have some idea of the data these devices capture, but most don’t realize how revealing and...
The demand for organizations to expand their infrastructure to multiple IT environments like the cloud, on-premise, mobile, bring your own device (BYOD) and the Internet of Things (IoT) continues to grow. As this hybrid infrastructure increases, the challenge to monitor the security of these systems increases in volume and complexity. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Stephen Coty, Chief Security Evangelist at Alert Logic, will show how properly configured and managed security architecture can...
Many private cloud projects were built to deliver self-service access to development and test resources. While those clouds delivered faster access to resources, they lacked visibility, control and security needed for production deployments. In their session at 18th Cloud Expo, Steve Anderson, Product Manager at BMC Software, and Rick Lefort, Principal Technical Marketing Consultant at BMC Software, will discuss how a cloud designed for production operations not only helps accelerate developer...
SYS-CON Events announced today the Docker Meets Kubernetes – Intro into the Kubernetes World, being held June 9, 2016, in conjunction with 18th Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Register for 'Docker Meets Kubernetes Workshop' Here! This workshop led by Sebastian Scheele, co-founder of Loodse, introduces participants to Kubernetes (container orchestration). Through a combination of instructor-led presentations, demonstrations, and hands-on labs, participants learn ...
Much of the value of DevOps comes from a (renewed) focus on measurement, sharing, and continuous feedback loops. In increasingly complex DevOps workflows and environments, and especially in larger, regulated, or more crystallized organizations, these core concepts become even more critical. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 18th Cloud Expo, Andi Mann, Chief Technology Advocate at Splunk, will show how, by focusing on 'metrics that matter,' you can provide objective, transparent, and meaningfu...
The IoTs will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, will demonstrate how to move beyond today's coding paradigm and share the must-have mindsets for removing complexity from the development proc...
Artificial Intelligence has the potential to massively disrupt IoT. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, AJ Abdallat, CEO of Beyond AI, will discuss what the five main drivers are in Artificial Intelligence that could shape the future of the Internet of Things. AJ Abdallat is CEO of Beyond AI. He has over 20 years of management experience in the fields of artificial intelligence, sensors, instruments, devices and software for telecommunications, life sciences, environmental monitoring, process...
In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Klein, CEO and Co-founder of Rachio, will discuss next generation communities that are using IoT to create more sustainable, intelligent communities. One example is Sterling Ranch, a 10,000 home development that – with the help of Siemens – will integrate IoT technology into the community to provide residents with energy and water savings as well as intelligent security. Everything from stop lights to sprinkler systems to building infrastructures will run ef...