A kidnapped media star, a woman in the wings fielding blackmail
calls and an undercover police sting - just another day for Vanessa
Fortnam, a director of Bristol-based Corixa Communications.
Fortnam, account director for Cuprinol, was pulled into the underworld
drama after Cuprinol Man - star of the woodcare specialist’s TV ads -
was swiped in a break-in.
She took calls from the kidnappers, who were demanding a ransom for the
pounds 25,000 model’s return, helped police to lay the villain-trap and,
until the trial was abandoned following last-minute guilty pleas, was
recently due to go in the witness box at Bristol Crown Court.
’We told the kidnappers they had to speak to someone from Cuprinol,’
explains Fortnam, ’and then when they rang, a detective inspector was at
the other end pretending to be the marketing director.’
Recalling that first phone call from the kidnappers, Fortnam says: ’I
was pleased I had the instinct to ask for a description, as it helped
confirm they actually had him.
’A lot of people have seen the Cuprinol Man onTV but, until you’ve
actually seen him in real life, you might not realise he’s only three