I was reminded of a comment I received back in September 2009, before your time. I didn't publish it then, but when everything was going pearshaped for A4e in February this year, I did. (See this post). There was a whopping great lie at the heart of it, that they'd tried to communicate with me.
Let's be honest, Mr Cooper, you didn't really expect me to bite and accept your offer. There might have been a bit of a panic if I had! The purpose of your comment was to get me to publish it, to show what a reasonable chap you are. You made no attempt to answer the points I made; specifically your consistent failure to meet targets. You ignored everything ever published, not just in this blog, but in so many other forums, and stuck to the line that if critics just understood and appreciated how wonderful A4e is, they would change their minds.
When, on my original website, I published comments from A4e staff (which later turned out to be completely vindicated) your company got the site closed down as "defamatory". I had no chance to communicate with you then. I have a stack of similar comments, some of them very recent, which I haven't published because they threaten the anonymity of the writer. You may have noticed that I don't allow comments which are critical of individual staff, or even of your staff in general, because I know that the vast majority are simply trying to do the best job that they can. What about you? What are your qualifications for working in the W2W industry, let alone being Director of Strategy and Policy? (Silly question, I know.)
A4e has a chance to put the difficulties of the past behind it and become just another outsourcing company. That industry is in no danger of shrinking, and there are plenty of pickings to be had. But you need to stop insisting on this line that A4e is something more noble than a business. You need to drop the focus on PR and address the criticisms of clients. You need to be a better employer.
I commend you for answering the post, and you are welcome to join in the conversation.