M&C Saatchi works with Big Issue vendors on new campaign

M&C Saatchi has worked with Big Issue vendors to develop a campaign for the magazine, which aims to change perceptions of its vendors and asks buyers to ‘Support Local Business’.

Support Local Business campaign
Support Local Business campaign

Five Big Issue vendors worked with M&C Saatchi to conceive and create the adverts.

M&C Saatchi says it worked solely with small businesses throughout the process, including independent typographer Stephen Kenny, who created the  artwork using 19th Century letter-press machines.

If I don't make money today, it's my fault, not yours
If I don’t make money today, it’s my fault, not yours

Lara McCullagh, marketing and communications director at the Big Issue, says, ‘It’s a popular misconception that Big Issue vendors are the recipients of charity, when in fact each vendor is the proprietor of a small, local business. So it made perfect sense that they should be given the opportunity to market that business.’

If I don't make money today, it's my fault, not yours
Try before you buy!

The campaign looks to raise awareness of the vendors as independent retailers, positioning the magazine as a social enterprise business model that gives homeless people an opportunity to earn a legitimate income rather than its common misconception as a charity.

Every vendor buys each magazine for £1.25, and sells it for £2.50. As such, the individual seller is responsible for dealing with challenges such as cash flow, product marketing, customer relations and competition.

If I don't make money today, it's my fault, not yours
I know my product as well as my customers

One of the participants, Glasgow based vendor Ian Blair, says, ‘This has been a great opportunity to put across my attitude to my business. I’ve always viewed selling the magazine as a job – I put in the hours, manage my finances carefully, and try to build a rapport with my customers.

‘I hope as a result of the campaign more people will realise that vendors are working, not relying on hand-outs.’

If I don't make money today, it's my fault, not yours
I used to be a newsagent.

The Support Local Business campaign is running across national press, online and outdoor, targeting the hometowns of the five vendors, for a two-week period.

If I don't make money today, it's my fault, not yours
I Buy, I Sell

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