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Big Issue challenges public to become ‘Covid crusaders’ & sell subscriptions

Big Issue challenges public to become ‘Covid crusaders’ & sell subscriptions

The Big Issue is asking the public to take on the challenge of selling its magazine on behalf of its street sellers during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Big Issue has launched its Sell A Sub campaign in partnership with social impact creative consultancy Fox & Hare following its decision to ask its network of sellers to stop selling on streets during the pandemic.

The campaign asks 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 its army of  ‘Associate Big Issue Sellers’ – aka ‘Covid crusaders’.

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 and to mark the launch of the challenge, the first magazine people will be challenged to find new subscribers for showcases the good deeds of “Covid crusaders” up and down the country.

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

Participants can download a welcome pack and ‘seller’s kit’ from The Big Issue’s site. The kit includes guidance on how people can update their LinkedIn job description and profile to let connections know they have become a volunteer, and a link for others to click if they are interested in taking part in the challenge.

The Sell A Sub campaign has been launched alongside an animated video on LinkedIn, Facebook and YouTube, created pro bono by Fox & Hare, which shows how a local sheriff in the Wild West would recruit ordinary citizens to deputise for him during emergency situations, and calling on people to do the same for Big Issue sellers during the current crisis.



Editor of The Big Issue, Paul McNamee, said:

“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.”


Melanie May is a journalist and copywriter specialising in writing both for and about the charity and marketing services sectors since 2001. She can be reached via

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