It may not have worked in the cynical UK, but in Oz it looks like they take a chief executive at his word.

Australian insurer QBE had to temporarily suspend trading in its shares on September 20, after investors panicked about the company's exposure to the World Trade Centre tragedy and shares fell 41%.

Instead of shying away from publicity in the face of possible disaster, chief executive Frank O'Halloran took out full-page ads in all the national papers, spelling out the company's situation in no-nonsense terms.

The move worked – when trade was allowed on September 21, shares immediately rose 52%.