Atos hires Edelman to emphasise non-benefits work

Atos, the firm that currently holds a government contract to conduct assessments of benefit claimants, has hired Edelman as it seeks to emphasise other strengths of the business.

Atos: Focusing on its technology offering
Atos: Focusing on its technology offering

The agency’s public affairs team has been handed the newly created UK brief following a pitch.

PRWeek understands the work will involve showing that the company is far broader than the contract it has with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to oversee the controversial Work Capability Assessment amid benefits wider reforms.

A specific focus will be on the technology and media side of Atos, which is an IT partner of the BBC.

Chris Rumfitt, MD of Edelman’s public affairs team, will lead the work, while Ben Fenton, poached from his role as Financial Times media editor in April, will also play a key role.

Rumfitt said: "We are assisting Atos with raising its profile and expertise on the issue of innovation in information technology, in general, and in the media sector, in particular."

It is understood that targeted stakeholders will not just be in the political arena, but also include businesses, with the brief involving a corporate element.

Headquartered in France, Atos is an international information technology services company with annual 2012 revenue of  £7.4bn and 76,400 employees in 47 countries.

However, Atos Healthcare has come under severe media scrutiny around its work with the DWP, for which it is reported to have received £754m of public money for its tests since 2005.

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