The Big Issue launches the Sell A Sub challenge with creative campaign

....asks the public to join army of “Covid crusaders” after street sellers are forced off the streets due to Covid-19 crisis

The Big Issue has launched a creative campaign in partnership with social impact creative consultancy, Fox & Hare,  to call on the public to take on a challenge to ‘sell’ the award-winning magazine on behalf of the street sellers in the wake of the Covid-19 crisis.

The Big Issue, which offers homeless and vulnerably housed people across the UK a means by which to earn a legitimate income, recently had to take the decision to safeguard its network of sellers by asking that they stop selling on streets for the foreseeable future.

With Big Issue sellers currently unable to sell the magazine on the streets, the organisation with the support of Fox & Hare, is asking existing subscribers and supporters of the magazine, as well as people who are working from home or have been furloughed, to volunteer their time and join an army of  ‘Associate Big Issue Sellers’.

To take on the challenge, people have to download the magazine’s app, or take out a print subscription and sell 3 subscriptions to 3 friends and family within 7 days.

The Sell A Sub campaign has been launched alongside an animated video on LinkedIn, Facebook and YouTube, created by social impact creative consultancy  Fox & Hare, without charge, which shows how a local sheriff in the Wild West would recruit ordinary citizens to deputise for him during emergency situations – and calls on people to do the same for Big Issue sellers during the current crisis.

Editor of The Big Issue, Paul McNamee, said: “It is a brilliant new initiative. This terrible time has impacted on every single person and on every aspect of our lives. At The Big Issue we have had to be fleet-footed and focused in our response. We needed to make sure we could get money to get to our vendors. The staff have been remarkable. The Big Issue team has done so much to grow subscriptions, shop sales and our app.

“We couldn’t have done any of it without the selfless help of the great British public as well as individuals and companies like Fox & Hare giving their time and expertise. Always, our vendors are central in our heads and our hearts. This initiative keeps them there. I call on everybody to support it.”

Ben Fox, co-founder of Fox & Hare, said: “As a business, we’ve been providing creative solutions for brands and charities during the Covid-19 crisis. The Big Issue is a social enterprise that has been in all of our lives for a long time and the work that they do with vendors all across the UK is vital – especially right now. Every subscription means that another vendor can begin to recover from the devastating effect of this crisis. We urge you to take part and put yourself in the shoes of those who can’t sell on the streets right now.”

To mark the launch of the challenge, the first magazine that people will be challenged to  ask people to subscribe on the basis of is the latest edition of the magazine, showcasing the good deeds of “Covid- crusaders” up and down the country. 

The Big Issue is aiming to recruit an army of supporters to get more copies of the magazine out there to people and help sellers while they are unable to work on their pitches.

The Sell a Sub initiative sits within the #TheBigMissYou social creative campaign, created by Fox & Hare for The Big Issue in support of its appeal.

The campaign encourages supporters of The Big Issue to subscribe or support The Big Issue with a one-off support payment through this crisis so the organisation can be here for those that need it now and in the future.

Supporters can go online to find out how to take part in the challenge, where  they can download a welcome pack and ‘seller’s kit’. The kit includes guidance on how people can update their LinkedIn job description and profile to let connections know they have become a volunteer during the Coronavirus crisis, and a link for others to click if they are interested in taking part in the challenge.

Find out how to sign up at

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