CEO to Lock Himself in Display Window

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Clifford Boro, CEO of Internet Financial Network, New York, will appear in a display window for more than 16 hours on Aug. 23 in an effort to get noticed by thousands of busy New Yorkers.


The goal is to have Boro interact with as many consumers as possible to convince them to try the company's flagship site, Infogate.com, and its personalized financial information products and tools. He will field questions about any publicly traded company and will answer them using the site's tools.


"It's a shameless publicity stunt," Boro said. "It's meant to be fun. We're spoofing the CBS 'Survivor' series. Being a CEO of an Internet company today is far harder than surviving on that island."


The effort is "not without integrity," Boro said. "Having a guy like me pressing the flesh and demonstrating the product is deliberate because you see consumers' reactions as you take them through it.


"You can do focus groups galore, do all the research you want, but I'll get something [better] out of this," he added. "I can see how they use it, the Internet, and see what else they're looking for that our company can provide. You always learn something."


Infogate.com has had people in the window, at the Sony Lincoln Square Theatre at 68th Street and Broadway, since July 4. Boro is expected to appear from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., although he may stay longer to take advantage of the evening movie-going crowds. The display will be removed at month's end.


Boro and others who have appeared behind the plate glass have also been trying to lure consumers to the site by alerting them to the "Infogate Challenge." Anyone who registers before Aug. 25 can enter to win $1,000.


From a business standpoint, the window has already helped the site find new partners. To deliver its free, real-time stock quotes and up-to-the-minute news, it has agreements with sponsors such as Salomon Smith Barney. "Because of the incredible New York City traffic, we've already had threads of discussions with companies who have seen Infogate.com and asked how they can partner with us," Boro said.


The site created the promotion with guerilla marketing company FourFront, New York.
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