Hit or Miss?: Paralympic sponsor Atos defends services following protest

Fitness test: IT firm Atos Healthcare has been forced to defend its record of carrying out 'fitness to work' assessments after around 150 disability rights campaigners and anti-cuts activists protested outside its headquarters. The campaigners, who rounded on the firm's Paralympic sponsorship, said the firm is part of a money-saving drive to reduce benefit payments. Atos replied by stating that its services are 'professional' and 'compassionate'.

HOW I SEE IT - IAIN BUNDRED, HEAD OF CORPORATE AND PUBLIC AFFAIRS, OGLIVY PR

Once Atos had decided to become an official London 2012 partner it was inevitable it would face a protest from those who are angry at its work capability assessments.

I believe this situation could have been mitigated against with a more proactive media outreach about what the company wanted to achieve with its sponsorship.

In many ways, it is a victim of carrying out policy decisions made by ministers.

Yet, given the predictability of such a protest, surely Atos could have done more to explain why it wanted to be an Olympic and Paralympic partner in the first place?

Until the Sky News 'copter was hovering over the Department for Work and Pensions last week, I doubt many understood what services Atos was providing to London 2012 - MISS.

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