It is the first cause related campaign for the news brand in recent times. The editor-in-chief’s dog Charlie is guest editing the takeover, says Reach. The campaign is the print edition’s cover splash and the masthead will also contain the strapline “Proud to love animals.”
Blue Cross experienced a 515% increase in demand to rehome pets in May 2020 in relation to the same period last year and the charity is predicting a spike in abandoned animals due to Covid-19, the state of the economy and people’s personal finances.
With Star readers twice as likely than the national average to own a pet, say the publishers, the takeover is a 7-week in-paper and online campaign building on the success of the title’s regular Star Paws column edited by Catherine Wooding.
As well as featuring Blue Cross pets that need rehoming and in-depth features of celebrities with their furry friends The Star is asking its readers to support the Star Paws takeover campaign.
A nationwide competition will run from 30 September turning 12 readers dogs into 2021 calendar stars. Shortlisted by a panel including Blue Cross, readers will then decide the best 12 and the overall star pooch and family will win a dog friendly holiday. The Star Paws calendar goes on sale on 29 October RRP £6.99 with all profits going to Blue Cross.
Celebrities figures supporting the Star Paws Takeover to date are: comedian and actor Bill Bailey, wildlife presenter Michaela Strachan, actress Hayley Tamaddon, Love Island’s Kady McDermott, BBC Radio 1’s Katie Thistleton and Dinner Dates’ Laura Tott. Sir Lindsay Hoyle, speaker of the House of Commons, is also giving his backing to the Star’s campaign.
As well as being able to enter the Star Paws Takeover calendar competition members of the public can donate directly to Blue Cross via bluecross.org.uk/dailystar
Ryan Neile, Head of Behaviour at Blue Cross said, “Many dogs have been an absolute lifeline to their owners through the lockdown period as we should never underestimate the strength of the people pet bond. But, sadly animals can also be abandoned when people realise that sharing your life with a dog is a lot more responsibility than they were prepared for. Sharing our lives with animals is a wonderful reward, but we have a responsibility for their well-being so it is the least we can do to research and prepare and keep them happy and healthy. We are very grateful to The Star for raising awareness, helping raise money for Blue Cross and for celebrating the pets we all love”.
Shane Davison, Marketing Director for The Star at Reach plc said, “The Star Paws Takeover has an element of fun but it equally tackles a serious issue which resonates with our audience. Star readers love their dogs and 1 in 5 donate to animal charities, which is higher than the national average. We’re so proud to be collaborating with Blue Cross and our celebrity ambassadors on this important matter.”