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Friday, 5 February 2010

Cult Wines Ltd: Tom Gearing's requests

Yesterday in a comment on this blog Tom Gearing made two requests – he says three but it looks like two to me.  

'I just have three requests:

1. Please can you remove/retract your blog.
2. Apologise for the use of confidential material in a public forum.'

The answer to both of these requests is no

Please can you remove/retract your blog.
My posting on this investdrinks blog related to a carelessly worded press release issued by Cult Wines Ltd on 22nd January 2010. If you don't want press comment don't issue press releases – period. If all drinks investment and not just collective wine funds were under the aegis of the FSA, such claims of guaranteed returns would not be allowed as one FSA authorised wine fund manager remarks:

"It is not possible to guarantee returns and therefore no sane fund manager would ever do so.  Most investment managers whether running regulated or unregulated schemes will publish health warnings (e.g. past performance is no guarantee of future performance, shares can go down as well as up etc etc) but will also highlight why they think they will be able to create value for the investor.

The FSA has extensive rules on financial promotions and the degree of information and inducement you can put into your marketing depends on what level of authorization and regulation you have as the investment manager. This also dictates who you can market to."   

Apologise for the use of confidential material in a public forum.
When I posted the initial response from Cult Wines Ltd to my questions following up on the press release (22.1.10) I was totally unaware that there was a confidentiality signature tacked onto the end of the email. Unaware for the very good reason that I cannot imagine why anyone would put such a clause on a response to a known journalist following up a press release issued by the company. It is not as though I had asked for the code to the company safe or the pin number for the company credit card.

A subsequent email stated: 'You do realise that printing this without permission is 100% against the law.'

Frankly I think it is highly unlikely that the law is at all clear cut on this. This might be of interest. I suspect in law much would depend upon the content of the email and whether the recipient had indicated that they would abide by the confidentiality signature.  

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