A4e Not Allowed To Call Itself A 'Social Purpose Company'

A4e, the company at the centre of fraud allegations in relation to its government welfare-to-work contracts, has now been banned from calling itself a “social purpose company”.

The restriction is to ensure consumers do not mistake the company for a not-for-profit organisation.

The firm's website, mya4e.com, stated: "A4e is a social purpose company with one sole aim. To improve people's lives around the world. We do this by helping them find work, skills, direction – or whatever it is they need."

A complaint was made to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) that the "social purpose" claim was likely to mislead consumers as to the nature of the business because it intended to generate a profit.

The ASA said: "Whilst we noted the ad made clear it was A4e's intention to improve people's lives by helping them secure employment or develop skills, we were concerned that individuals would understand the claim to mean A4e was a not-for-profit organisation.

"Because we understood that that was not the case, we concluded the claim was likely to mislead and breached the code."

Defending the wording, A4e said the focus of its business activities was to "achieve positive social outcomes", adding that the majority of its revenue was derived from contracts aimed at achieving long-term sustainable employment outcomes.

The ASA said the advert must not appear again in its current form and told A4e to ensure claims were not likely to mislead in future.


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