Welfare-to-work firm is ordered to revise advert

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The Independent Online

A claim by welfare-to-work business A4e that it is a "social purpose company" has been banned for potentially misleading consumers into thinking it is a not-for-profit organisation.

The company, which faced allegations of fraud in relation to government contracts, claimed on the website mya4e.com: "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 – whatever they need." One person complained that the "social purpose" claim was likely to mislead consumers as to the nature of the business because it intended to generate a profit.

Defending the claim, A4e said the focus of its business activities was to "achieve positive social outcomes".

But the Advertising Standards Authority said it was concerned that readers would interpret the claim to mean that A4e was a not-for-profit organisation.

It ruled that the ad must not appear again in its current form and told A4e to ensure claims were not likely to mislead in future.