ASA Adjudication on A4e Ltd
105 Queen Street
22 August 2012
Internet (on own site)
Number of complaints:
Claims on www.mya4e.com, for a "social purpose company", featured text on the home page which 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".
The complainant challenged whether the claim "A4e is a social purpose company" was likely to mislead consumers as to the nature of their business.
CAP Code (Edition 12)
A4e believed the claim did not mislead because the key focus of their business activities was to achieve positive social outcomes. They said the majority of their revenue derived from contracts aimed at achieving long-term sustainable employment outcomes. They said they held contracts with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to deliver their Work Programme and to assist unemployed people to move towards sustainable employment. They said they also held further contracts with a third party to deliver a range of skills training courses.
The ASA noted the complainant's concerns that the claim was misleading, because A4e's business activities were intended to generate a profit. Whilst we noted the ad made clear that it was A4e's intention to improve people's lives by helping them to secure employment or develop skills, we were concerned that individuals would understand the claim to mean that 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.
On this point, the ad breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rules 3.1 and 3.3 (Misleading advertising) and 3.7 (Substantiation).
The ad must not appear again in its current form. We told A4e to ensure claims were not likely to mislead in future.