The Big Issue

M&C Saatchi teams up with Big Issue street vendors to create new advertising campaign


By Jennifer Faull, Deputy Editor

March 5, 2013 | 2 min read

The Big Issue has launched a new advertising campaign, created in partnership with M&C Saatchi and its street vendors.

The group, made up of five vendors from across the UK, worked with M&C Saatchi to come up with a series of ads aimed at highlighting that Big Issue vendors run a quality retail business, not a charity.

The ads will be shown on billboards in London, Glasgow, Bath and Bristol as well as in national newspapers.

It will be officially launched in London on Thursday 7 March, but The Big Issue is asking Twitter followers to use #supportlocalbusiness with every tweet to help push the campaign message.

“This has been a great opportunity to put across my attitude to my business,” explained Glasgow-based vendor Iain Blair, who worked on the ‘Support Local Business’ campaign.

“I’ve always viewed selling the magazine as a job – I put in the hours, manage my finances carefully, and try to build a rapport with my customers. I hope as a result of the campaign more people will realise that vendors are working, not relying on hand-outs.”

Lara McCullagh, Big Issue marketing and communications director, said: “It’s a popular misconception that Big Issue vendors are the recipients of charity, when in fact each vendor is the proprietor of a small, local business. So it occurred to us they should be given the opportunity to market that business.”

Enyi Nwosu, managing director of M&C Saatchi’s Central Strategy Unit, added: “Having worked with The Big Issue since the re-launch, we are very aware of their commitment to social enterprise.

"Working directly with the vendors on this campaign, who really are at the sharp end of sales, hearing their stories and helping them to bring to life their ideas, was an incredibly humbling experience for everyone involved. The creative ideas are a product of our unique collaboration and something we are all proud of.”

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