Last year A4e was told by the Advertising Standards Authority to stop describing itself as a "social purpose company" because it could mislead people into thinking it was a social enterprise rather than a profit-making business. There has always been a bit of a problem for the media in describing the company. "Recruitment agency" or "recruitment company" have been used frequently and, of course, inaccurately. Now A4e has come up with a new phrase. In a piece on its website about a job fair in Sheffield it calls itself "Sheffield public service provider".
Are they are providing a public service? It's debatable. But that's semantics. I'm more interested in why the company feels the need to come up with these phrases, as if trying to distance itself from the fact that it is a business which, like all businesses, exists to make a profit. "Public service provider" seems like a cloak of respectability designed to disguise that. Why can't they just call themselves an outsourcing company?