NEWSMAKERS | Aflac seeks new voice for its duck


NEWSMAKERS

Aflac seeks new voice for its duck

NEW YORK

Aflac is opening the field to people who want to take a quack at doing the new voice of the insurer’s ever-abrasive duck mascot.

Aflac Inc. began accepting submissions Wednesday in the search for someone to replace Gilbert Gottfried, who was ousted last week after voicing the duck for more than 10 years because he made insensitive remarks on Twitter about the earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

Rather than hire another celebrity voice right away, Aflac decided to solicit submissions from the general public, said Chief Marketing Officer Michael Zuna. Anyone interested will be able to submit a 30-second audio or video file belting their best version of the Aflac duck’s signature “Aflac” squawk at www.quackaflac.com. The company wants to hear interpretations of the character that may be different from Gottfried’s, Zuna said.

The submission deadline is midnight April Fool’s Day. Aflac plans live auditions in six markets and expects to air the first ad with the new voice, to be created by its longtime agency, The Kaplan Thaler Group, on April 22.

Royal wedding will be on iTunes

LONDON

Prince William and Kate Middleton can go straight from Westminster Abbey to your personal playlist.

For the first time in history, the entire April 29 royal wedding ceremony — including the couple’s vows — will be released digitally within hours of the service through Britain’s Decca Records to online retailers such as iTunes, royal officials said Wednesday.

William’s office and the record company said that an official audio recording of the event — as a CD, vinyl or cassette — will hit stores May 5.

Decca Records — which also recorded the wedding of Prince Charles and Diana — said the physical album will include a collector’s booklet featuring the complete order of service, the readings, vows, hymns and blessings and all the music from the ceremony.

Another injury rocks ‘Spider-Man’ musical

NEW YORK

Is this the curse of the Spider-Woman?

T.V. Carpio, who stepped in to replace another actress injured in Broadway’s “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark,” has been sidelined after an accident on stage.

Producers of the $65 million musical said Tuesday that Carpio was hurt March 16 during a battle scene with an actor. Details on her injury were not immediately available.

Carpio plays an evil spider woman called Arachne, one of the handful of large roles in the complicated, stunt-heavy production. She will be out of the show for the next two weeks and will be replaced by America Olivo.

Carpio was elevated from a smaller role when her predecessor, Natalie Mendoza, pulled out after she suffered a concussion in December when she was hit in the head offstage by rope.

Russia’s Medvedev meets Deep Purple

MOSCOW

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, a big heavy-metal fan, has fulfilled a lifelong dream by getting to meet his favorite rock band, Deep Purple.

The British group met the leader for tea at his residence of Gorki outside Moscow on Wednesday, Russian news agencies said.

The 45-year-old president told Deep Purple the band has been a favorite of his since age 12.

He also revealed that as a DJ at his school in Leningrad he would play rock music at discos after first getting the approval of the Communist youth organization.

Medvedev is a well-known heavy-metal fan, while Vladimir Putin, his predecessor and Russia’s current prime minister, is reported to be an ABBA fan.

Associated Press

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