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Brand Purpose Brand Strategy Work & Wellbeing

O2 gives 200 Big Issue vendors free data plans


By Hannah Bowler, Senior reporter

November 29, 2021 | 3 min read

The Big Issue has struck a deal with O2, giving over 200 of its 1,500 magazine vendors access to free monthly data plans.

O2 donates 200 data free plans to The Big Issue vendors

O2 has donated 200 free data plans to The Big Issue vendors. Credit: Exposure Photo Agency

Big Issue sellers will be gifted a free sim loaded with 7GB of data and unlimited calls and texts to enable them to sell via card payments, access social services and stay connected.

The deal with The Big Issue is part of O2 and data poverty charity Good Things Foundation’s National Databank initiative. For every phone plan O2 sells at Christmas it will donate 10GB of data to the Databank, which is then redistributed to The Big Issue.

O2, via the Databank, has pledged data to over 250,000 people living in poverty by 2023.

Havas-owned Jump negotiated the deal and will manage the partnership through the campaign.

To accompany the campaign Jump has produced a content series to run on print, digital, social and consumer PR. Featured content includes vendor stories about the value of free data and a ‘digital inclusion content series’ promoting access to the internet as a pathway out of poverty.

Head of partnerships at Jump, Terri Squibb, said the content “aims to educate users on the real impact of not being connected and showcases the great work O2 and Good Things Foundation are doing to help those less fortunate than ourselves online.”

The initiative was born out of the publisher’s newly assembled branded content division set up to carve out partnerships and services with brands.

Russell Blackman, commercial managing director at The Big Issue, said the publisher is increasingly seeing businesses “using purpose as a strategy to engage customers and retain talent, and are actively seeking out highly credible media platforms to tell their story.”

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