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The Big Issue launches O2 branded content campaign to help vendors stay connected

Today, O2 and The Big Issue have announced a partnership which will set up over 200 of the magazine’s vendors each month with free data plans.

The Big Issue launches O2 branded content campaign to help vendors stay connected
Big Issue vendor Rodney Lyall.

This will include 7GB of data, a free sim, unlimited calls and texts, enabling vendors to make cashless sales, access essential online services and stay connected.

The partnership comes as part of the National Databank initiative launched by O2 and Good Things Foundation.

The scheme works like a "food bank for data", tackling data poverty by providing free mobile data to people in need. For every plan the network sells this Christmas, O2 has announced it will in turn donate 10GB of data to the Databank so it’s there for someone who really needs it, free of charge.

The Databank is designed to support O2’s data pledge to get more than 255,000 people living in poverty connected by the end of 2023.

As part of its drive to help end the digital divide, O2 has committed to setting up over 200 Big Issue vendors with data plans each month to help them go cashless and grow their business. The Big Issue has seen how important this is, since vendors started to offer cashless selling in 2019, many have seen sales increase by a third or more, says the organisation.

The partnership has been launched as a multi-platform content series across The Big Issue’ expanding media platforms, mapping Big Issue vendors journeys as they become cashless and are able to stay better connected to essential services and support.

JUMP, part of Havas Entertainment, negotiated the deal and will continue to manage the partnership throughout the campaign period.

Russell Blackman, Commercial MD at The Big Issue, said: “We are incredibly excited about our partnership with O2 and the JUMP team. Not only does it mean our vendors will be able to boost their sales, but it also means they will be able to stay connected and access essential online services this Christmas.

“This partnership is a great example of the authentic and meaningful campaigns we are creating through our new branded content division. We continue to see businesses using purpose as a strategy to engage customers and retain talent and brands are actively seeking out highly credible media platforms to tell their story. Our insight shows that now, more than ever consumers are making buying decisions based on one of shared values and The Big issue provides a trusted media platform and award-winning editorial to drive engagement and reach for our partners.

“We look forward to continuing to develop and enhance the partnership with JUMP and O2 to close the digital divide and make sure the most vulnerable have the same access to digital services as anyone else.”

Simon Valcarcel, Marketing Director at Virgin Media O2, said: “Data poverty affects many millions of people in the UK, so we set up the National Databank with the help of Good Things Foundation to help those most in need stay connected.

“This Christmas, we’ve partnered with The Big Issue to provide over 200 of their vendors with access to the free data each month. The aim is to help them take mobile payments in an ever more cashless society, access the services that they need and stay connected to loved ones.”

Terri Squibb, Head of Partnerships, JUMP (part of Havas Entertainment), added: “It's so exciting to have created a campaign that is going to deliver real tangible benefits for the most vulnerable in our society, especially during a period of time that is traditionally a hugely consumer moment. The content we've created in partnership with The Big Issue aims to educate users on the real impact of not being connected and showcases the great work O2 and Good Things Foundation are doing to help those less fortunate than ourselves online.”

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