Dore’s assets (but not its debts) are bought by Wynford Dore

We have just heard that the assets of both DDAT UK and Camden Holdings limited (both of which traded as Dore) have been bought by Wynford Dore.  As the Sun reports, Dore

Founder, the paint millionaire Wynford Dore today bought the assets of the company.

But he has taken NO responsibility for its debts.

That means staff owed thousands of pounds in wages and parents who paid more than £2,000 for the controversial course are likely to be left out of pocket.

Administrators have confirmed that neither Dore, nor rugby ace Kenny Logan — who was a director of the company — is legally obliged to repay creditors.

Wynford Dore…said: “I hope by Monday there will be lots of very positive news.”

But he refused to say whether there would be any “positive news” for creditors.

While Wynford Dore is apparently under no legal obligation to pay the creditors of Dore what they are owed, we very much hope that he has the integrity to do so: in particular, we hope that he repays the staff and clients who have been left out of pocket when Dore companies went into administration. However, it now appears that many creditors will not get their money.

Perhaps especially noteworthy in the Sun article is the quote from the (effective and expensive PR company) Phil Hall and Associates: this is not acting for Dore “at present”. One must wonder whether Wynford Dore will be paying an expensive PR company for this new enterprise long before Dore’s creditors have been paid back, and long before they have any good quality evidence to show that the treatments they are selling work. One must also wonder if the media will swallow the same ‘miracle cure’ stories all over again?

If Wynford Dore is able to continue to aggressively market an unproven ‘cure’ for various learning difficulties to vulnerable clients – and can do this without even paying back what is owed to the creditors of previous incarnations of Dore – then this will be very unfortunate, and a real indictment of the UK mainstream media and regulatory systems.

15 Comments

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15 responses to “Dore’s assets (but not its debts) are bought by Wynford Dore

  1. One must also wonder if the media will swallow the same ‘miracle cure’ stories all over again?

    Of course they will – because this time it will be the “miracle cure that they tried to suppress” plus a story of the entrepreneur who, like the little engine, keeps on trying.

  2. See also Wynford’s latest letter on the website:

    Click to access Wynford200608.pdf

    ‘So, just to summarise, we will not be re-opening the majority of the original Dore Centres, but we will be developing relationships with local partners who will focus on their community and provide the Dore technology.’

  3. OK – it looks like they are going to adopting a semi-Franchise model – rather like Buzan and the official MindMap trainers.

    They will notionally train people to do the assessments – the entrepreneurs will lease the equipment for those assessments and monitor students etc. – probably paying an IP fee for the exercises, materials and research support.

    Those arrangements don’t always work out brilliantly but who knows. It might work, like those various tutoring systems. I’m disturbed about the fixed costs of leasing equipment though…

    Plus, I did think that they might move to a diy system with online support to reduce costs for parents. This way – I can see cost reductions for the Dore Phoenix but not for parents.

  4. Pingback: Wynford buys assets, staff & clients remain unpaid « Brainduck’s Weblog

  5. This is really an egregious act of business. If I were not such a mild-mannered chap I’d be calling Mr Dore a certain Chaucerian epithet.

    I can’t help but wonder if Dore may be a case study in how not to turn remedial learning disability quackery into a profitable business. If the franchise model works I suspect we will see more McQuackery as a result. Strangely consumers of this stuff never seem bothered that somebody is trying to profit from a disability with unproven treatments.

  6. raygirvan

    Gilbert & Sullivan’s Limited Liability is as true now as it was over a century ago.

  7. I would hope that I am completely wrong about this but my thoughts so far.

    MLM selling of supplements etc. works because individuals who are selling face-to-face can say pretty much what they want about their product – their utterances are not restricted by the ASA. Dore looks like it is adopting a similar model here although not necessarily with the recruitment part of the usual MLM set-up. Notionally, they might come under the local Trading Standards and new EU legislation – but:
    i) there has to be a willingness to enforce the relevant legislation
    ii) it will be the individual who is reprimanded, not the core company
    iii) each and every other individual who operates under this self-employed scenario will be able to trade unimpeded, no matter what judgments are made in other areas that ajudicate against their own similar business practice.

    It is what a number of the supplement companies did in the US in the earlier and mid C20 to protect themselves against advertising restrictions. It is a remarkably effective technique and gives them a legal shield.

    The G&S is a hoot.

  8. Yes – it will be interesting to see what business model is taken up. Another possibility is that – if they can provide an online ‘treatment’ of sort – Dore may find that, while there are costs up-front in setting up their website etc, the extra costs for each additional client are minimal…which could well impact on the approach they take.

  9. Brainduck

    Oh, they do seem keen to carry on with the face-to-face assessments. In marketing terms it’s the main difference between them & a fair few similar programmes eg Learning Breakthrough, and the higher cost is not necessarily a deterrent to people who want to think they are doing ‘everything possible’ for their children.

    I do think Wynford believes in the way it’s supposed to work too, though there’s a fair amount of cynical marketing going on somewhere. There’s also been such an overwhelming emphasis in the marketing on targeted treatments that the parents now all believe in that too. I really doubt it’d go to online-only.

    dvnutrix – if it’s a franchise, there’d really only be sanctions against each franchisee for anything misleading? That’s depressing.

  10. You can structure it that way. There are degrees of franchise (using the term loosely):
    *the Starbucks etc. where it would be likely to cause core changes
    *independent consultant model – more like individual drain routers or Mind Map people
    *more like the MLM model where it is only the individuals who are sanctioned.
    I see that Dore is claiming that they are ready to train people and award an accredited qualification or words to that effect. So, it looks like there may be a DDAT Institute in the offing or they may be looking to persuade some desperate uni. to accredit the qualification. If so, it looks like they are moving towards the 2nd and 3rd options.

  11. ex employee

    Dynutrix- you obviously know sweet [obscenity redacted] about how the Dore treatment worked and from one who does, the more you write, the bigger [obscenity redacted] you sound!!!

    Admin edit: obscenities removed but we decided to let your comment through as your level of commentary speaks for itself.

  12. William Peters

    As someone who’s son completed the Dore method in 2006 I can only praise Wynford Dore and the wonderful staff at the Cardiff Clinic to which James attended.

    I was the best £2000 I have spent and turned a very shy dyslexic boy into a confident young man who achieved 8 GCSE’s last year and is studing As to go onto University.

    Prior to this he was an underperforming child and we had tofund his extra tuition on top of the school fees

    As a business man looking at he the Dore business model it was flawed in as much as the estblishment didnt acknowledge it however 1000’s of parents will vouch how this has changed lives for the better..

    Bill- Peters Bristol

    • It is splendid that this worked so well for your son.

      Nonetheless, the ‘scientific justification’ for the Dore Method is worthless and this is why “the establishment” was unable to acknowledge it. It’s not even as if Dore kept decent records that would have made an adequate series of case-studies.

      • Likewise, glad to hear that your son is doing so well now. However, without more research on Dore it’s not possible to be sure that this played a significant role in his achievements: clearly, dyslexic children do development in all kinds of impressive ways, entirely without exposure to Dore.

  13. John Peters

    I’m considering applying for a job at Arnold Lodge School of which Mr Dore is the Director. Any thoughts would be helpful

    Thanks

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