ASA Adjudication on Atos IT Services UK Ltd | 4 April 2012

April 4, 2012

From the website of the Advertising Standards Authority, 4 April 2012.

Atos IT Services UK Ltd t/a Atos Healthcare

Number of complaints: 1
Complaint Ref: A11-180372


SUMMARY OF COUNCIL DECISION: Two issues were investigated and both were Upheld.

AD: Claims on, visited on 30 November 2011, described Atos Healthcare's services. Text stated “… Each year Atos Healthcare process over 1.2 million referrals for medical advice completing over 800,000 face-to-face medical assessments within our nationwide network of over 140 medical examination centres … All our 1700+ healthcare professionals are fully trained to undertake disability assessments. Doctors are registered with the General Medical Council, nurses with the Nursing and Midwifery Council and physiotherapists with the Health Professions Council. All healthcare professionals are approved by the Chief Medical Adviser of the DWP …”.

ISSUE: challenged whether the claims:

1. “Each year Atos Healthcare process over 1.2 million referrals for medical advice completing over 800,000 face-to-face medical assessments”; and

2. “our 1700+ healthcare professionals”

were misleading and could be substantiated.

CAP Code (Edition 12)

RESPONSE: Atos IT Services UK Ltd t/a Atos Healthcare (Atos) did not respond to the ASA's enquiries.


The ASA was concerned by Atos' lack of response and apparent disregard for the Code, which was a breach of CAP Code (Edition 12) rule 1.7 (Unreasonable delay). We reminded them of their responsibility to respond promptly to our enquiries and told them to do so in future.

We noted that Atos had not provided evidence to show that each year it processed over 1.2 million referrals for medical advice and completed over 800,000 face-to-face medical assessments, or that it had over 1700 healthcare professionals. We therefore considered that the claims had not been substantiated and concluded the ad was misleading.

The ad breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rules 1.7 (Unreasonable delay), 3.1 (Misleading advertising) and 3.7 (Substantiation).

ACTION: The ad must not appear again in its current form. We referred the matter to the CAP Compliance team.

1 thought on “ASA Adjudication on Atos IT Services UK Ltd | 4 April 2012”

  1. ATOS think they are above the law that’s why they didn’t respond.

    What about them saying that they give ‘medical advice’ and all the references to ‘healthcare’?? They don’t give medical advice and they certainly don’t provide healthcare, could they ‘care’ any less??

    Have the ASA given them a compliance order telling them to remove the false claims from their website and literature and a deadline to do so? I hope they have, along with a massive fine for the breach. Just send them a letter that says-

    YOUR 100 MILLION POUNDS IN BENEFITS WILL BE AFFECTED IF YOU DO NOT COMPLY BY 10th APRIL 2012. You will be required to take a further unpassable examination in order for the government to pretend you have a chance of carrying on being paid these benefits.

    Furthermore when your benefits cease to be paid, you will not have the right to appeal and will be expected to go out and find a job instead of fraudulently scrounging off the British taxpayer or you will starve and live on nothing and we do not care how this affects the health and wellbeing of your employees.

    We hope our customer service lived up to your expectations and our very high standards. If not, please contact us on our extortionate 0845 or 0870 phone number where we will be happy to keep you on hold in a queue for anything up to 2 hours. We will then fob you off and do nothing to help you or deal with your complaint and if you get angry we will terminate the call as well as your benefits.

    Yours faithfully,
    Your caring, friendly customer service team.

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