2012 Duck Is Designed by a 16-Year-Old Leukemia Patient Treated at the Aflac Cancer Center
COLUMBUS, Ohio, Nov. 12, 2012 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ --Aflac, the number one provider of supplemental insurance in the United States, and recognized six times by Ethisphere as one of the World's Most Ethical Companies, is once again teaming with Macy's to produce and sell the 2012 Aflac Holiday duck. This is the twelfth year that Aflac and Macy's are selling the annual plush duck, with all net proceeds going to support research and treatment for childhood cancer.
To view the multimedia assets associated with this release, please click: http://www.multivu.com/mnr/58454-aflac-macys-annual-holiday-duck-design-pediatric-cancer-patient-atlanta
For the 2012 holiday season, Aflac introduced a new twist. The company held a contest at the Aflac Cancer Center of Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, asking patients to design the holiday duck the way that they would like to see it produced and sold at local Macy's stores across the country and online. The prototype was designed by Monica Sandoval, a 16 year-old patient from Georgia, who has battled leukemia for three years. This is the first time that the Aflac Holiday Duck has ever been designed by a patient, and it is certain to become a collector's item.
"Aflac, our employees and 70,000 independent sales agents are determined to continue funding the research that will eventually lead to a cure for childhood cancer; a disease that affects nearly 12,000 new patents each year," said Aflac Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing and Sales Officer of Aflac U.S., Michael Zuna. "We are honored to lend our iconic Aflac Duck as a symbol for helping children and families facing cancer and proud of Monica and her design of the 2012 Holiday Duck."
"We are delighted to once again partner with Aflac on the sale of this adorable Holiday Duck," said Amy Kule, Group Vice-President of Macy's Parade & Entertainment Group. "For over a decade the sale of this plush at Macy's stores has resulted in happy children from coast-to-coast, as well as immeasurable support for the fight against childhood cancer. We hope that millions more kids and families take this collectible home during the holidays this season, so that together we continue to raise awareness and funds for this important fight."
The 2012 Aflac Holiday Duck is adorned with antlers, wintery earmuffs and a cozy red scarf to mark the holiday season. These festive ducks will be available at more than 600 Macy's department stores across the country and at aflacholidayduck.com, beginning on November 9. All net proceeds will be sent to the nearest participating pediatric cancer hospitals in the region where the duck is purchased. The prices are $10 for the 6-inch duck and $15 for the 10-inch version.
This year Aflac is stepping up its efforts to market the Holiday Duck, particularly through social media. The company will activate programs on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Get Glue, FourSquare, YouTube and Aflac.com that will direct consumers to Macy's or online locations to purchase a duck or make a donation. In addition, the company will partner with SheSpeaks, an online influencer marketing program with more than 250,000 members, on a Twitter Party to promote the Holiday Duck on November 29 at 9 p.m. ET with the hashtag #aflackids.
Since 2001, the Aflac Holiday Duck has raised $3 million for pediatric cancer research and treatment, which is part of the more than $75 million that Aflac has raised since 1995. Each month Aflac's independent sales agents contribute more than $450,000 to the Aflac Cancer Center in Atlanta from their commission checks to support childhood cancer research in the Aflac Cancer Center.
About Monica Sandoval Monica Sandoval, 16, was diagnosed with leukemia in 2009 when she was 13 years old. She lives Georgia, and is being treated at the Aflac Cancer Center of Children's Healthcare of Atlanta. At the Aflac Cancer Center, Monica has displayed a knack for boosting the spirits of her fellow patients. She has organized parties, including a mock prom, and dressed up girls as princesses and boys as pirates. A green belt in Tae Kwon Do, Monica was named the 2011 State Hero by the Georgia chapter of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society for her active role in the organization's "Pennies for Patients" campaign. Monica lives with her parents and younger brother, Cody, who has donated bone marrow twice as part of Monica's treatment.
About Aflac 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 six consecutive years, Aflac has been recognized by Ethisphere magazine as one of the World's Most Ethical Companies. In 2012, Fortune magazine recognized Aflac as one of the 100 Best Companies to Work For in America for the 14th consecutive year. Also, Fortune magazine included Aflac on its list of Most Admired Companies for the 11th time in 2012. 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.