Industry News

The Big Issue launches O2 branded content campaign to help vendors stay connected as part of new National Databank initiative

By Sorcha Mondon

29 Nov 2021

O2 to donate free data plans to help Big Issue vendors become cashless

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. 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.

The partnership has been launched as a multi-platform content series across The Big Issue’ expanding media platforms, mapping Big Issue vendors journey’s 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”

Photo credit: Exposure Photo Agency

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