Taking Stock - FD's bound to be game for a laugh.
Some finance directors will do anything to help their business.[QQ] Including posing for advertising campaigns bound and gagged. Just as well they’re game for a laugh. First there was Debonair FD Richard Clapson whose face graced a thousand billboards advertising low cost fares last year. Clapson appeared alongside his boss, chairman and chief executive Franco Mancassola. A typical advert saw Mancassola in ebullient pose beside a very distressed Clapson. ‘When Richard my financial director winces,’ runs one headline, ‘I know I’ve got my prices about right.’ Now proving you can teach a new dog old tricks, the dot.com companies are trying to capitalise on the same ideas to sell their products. The latest company to use its FD in an ad is games retailer Gameplay.com whose FD is pictured tied up and gagged under the strapline ‘Our financial director didn’t agree with these low prices. He does now!’ TS can reveal the man featured is the real FD Ted Bechman who has worked in both private and publicly quoted IT companies since qualifying with Ernst & Young in 1983. In his most recent role as the European chief financial officer of Franklin Electronic Publishers, quoted on the New York Stock Exchange, Bechman was responsible for the development of a pan-European infrastructure across the five principal Western European countries. Generously, Bechman was untied in time to announce Gameplay.com’s results last week.