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The Big Issue launches Sell A Sub challenge

The Big Issue has launched a creative campaign to call on the public to take on a challenge to ‘sell’ the magazine on behalf of the street sellers in the wake of the Covid-19 crisis.

The Big Issue launches Sell A Sub challenge
Paul McNamee: “At The Big Issue we have had to be fleet-footed and focused in our response.”

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, 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, 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.

“Always, our vendors are central in our heads and our hearts. This initiative keeps them there. I call on everybody to support it.”

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.

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