A puff piece in the London Daily Post for Whisky Cask Company made the eye-catching claim that the CEO is an Oxford professor and that the investment scheme, which promoted itself as a “sure-fire” investment paying 8-12% per year, is endorsed by rugby legend Chris Robshaw.
The article claims WWC CEO Alexander Johnson is “Building Scotch Whisky Into A Competitive & Trending Investment Class”. On its publication it referred to him as a “whisky aficionado and Oxford professor”.
It claims whisky represents a “prudent” investment. The reality is that whisky is a high-risk investment like any commodity, especially when investing via a new start-up company.
The “London Daily Post” has no corporate presence beyond a mobile phone number and an address in a London residential street.
Its article on Whisky Cask Company is allegedly penned by London Daily Post writer Kevin Taylor. Taylor claims in his bio underneath the article to “cater an uncompromising form of journalistic standard for the audiences”. Despite his commitment to a form of journalistic standard, Taylor failed to spot that Alexander Johnson is not in reality an Oxford professor.
While Alexander Johnson is a visiting lecturer at Oxford’s Conted department – which caters to part-time and mature students – this is a long way short of being an Oxford professor, one of the highest positions in academia.
I contacted Oxford’s Conted department for clarification. They have not responded, but subsequent to the article’s publication – and my contacting Oxford’s Conted for comment – the London Daily Post article was corrected to say “Oxford lecturer”. Although in one spot it still refers to the company as “Whisy Cask company”.
Chris Robshaw was contacted but declined to comment on whether he endorsed the use of his name to promote Whisky Cask Company.
Viderium in minibond collapse?
Johnson is also the owner and chairman of cryptocurrency minibond scheme Viderium. Viderium raised £3.9 million from investors in its cryptocurrency bonds. Judging by a rather bizarre fragment on its website, it isn’t going well.
This screenshot is from https://viderium.com/bond/reviews/. It is an “orphan” page, meaning it is not accessible by following links from Viderium’s home page, but can be accessed via Google or the URL. Viderium’s page on feefo.com itself has been closed, with all reviews deleted. It is a safe bet that the embedded fragment on Viderium’s own website is not supposed to be visible.
My best guess for the contradiction between the review’s title and content is that the reviewer edited his review after leaving it.
Viderium’s closure of its Feefo page and scrubbing of all reviews is quite an about turn from when it used to promote its Feefo ratings via press releases.
Investors have given their opinions of the bond on Feefo, a trusted independent review platform and Google partner. Impressively, Viderium’s bond has been rated 4.9/5 by existing investors, demonstrating the company’s commitment to those who’ve helped to make everything happen.
October 2018 Viderium press release
Viderium’s next accounts are due by September 2020.