Following Dore Australia’s move into administration at the end of last week, Dore UK has now also gone into administration. A Dore staff member on Dore’s discussion forums stated that they have gone into administration, and Dore UK staff were told about the move after lunch today. Dore states that they are “closing all of the UK centres which deliver the Dore Programme with immediate effect…We are presently exploring alternative arrangements to ensure every client is cared for”: I hope that this is does prove to be the case, and that staff will get what they are owed. See UPDATE 2 below, though, for a statement from Dore’s PR firm claiming that this is ‘restructuring’ instead of ‘administration’.
Firstly, we would offer our sympathies to all those who are caught up in this. Citizen’s Advice Bureau can be an excellent source of free practical advice on your rights in this type of situation; if you’re a member of a trade union, they will also often be able to help (and should definitely be contacted if Dore have made you redundant).
Secondly, we would like to point out the differences between how the blogosphere and the mainstream media dealt with Dore. A number of blogs noted the limited evidence for Dore’s efficacy – among others, see Bad Science, Brainduck, Gimpy, Left Brain/Right Brain, Podblack, and right here on HolfordWatch – while Gimpy raised the issue of financial problems with Dore back in January. However, the mainstream media has continued the overwhelmingly positive coverage of Dore, notwithstanding any such concerns.
Perhaps most damningly, You & Yours – nominally Radio 4’s flagship consumer programme – had positive coverage about Dore on last Monday [MP3]: immediately after Dore Australia went into administration leaving staff and clients unsure what would happen to what they were owed. You & Yours did know about the problems in Australia – I phoned them myself to tell them – but as far as I can tell they haven’t chosen to cover this (or to return my call).
More broadly – as we have noted on this blog – the mainstream media seem much happier to cover ‘miracle cure’ stories than to write about criticisms of the evidence for such ‘miracles’. Even after – to my shame – I was pedantic enough to call and e-mail a number of media outlets to let them know about a new article trashing Dore’s research base, no-one chose to cover this story. There are definitely questions to be asked about the media’s role in the rise of Dore, and Dore’s often-uncritical acceptance.
We will update this post when more news becomes available (you can e-mail us at holfordwatch at googlemail dot com if you would like to pass anything on, in confidence if necessary). We very much hope that things work out well for Dore staff and clients.
UPDATE 1: Gimpy and Podlback have now both posted on this.
UPDATE 2: Apparently, this morning Phil Hall Associates denied that Dore UK was going into administration, supplying a statement to the media that:
The business is being restructured to make it more cost efficient. We will be communicating directly with our clients. Plans are being drawn up to ensure that every patient is able to complete their programme. Wynford Dore has subsidised the programme to the tune of £15 million and is unable to sustain that level of investment any longer.
UPDATE 3: Gimpy has now blogged about a statement from Wynford Dore to UK clients. Apparently, Dore clients will be contacted next week.
UPDATE 4: Ben Goldacre’s Guardian Column this weeks looks at Dore, and the way that they were able to market their ‘miracle cure’ through the media. The announcement of Dore’s move into administration – or ‘restructuring’ – came in too late for inclusion in the column.
UPDATE 5: Brainduck blogs about the history of the Dore programme, how they have handled their financial troubles, and offers some good advice for the staff and clients caught up in this.
UPDATE 6: There are now reports of problems with Dore US. We will update this blog when we have confirmation.