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Town Square launches Working For Home campaign as vendors return to the streets to sell The Big Issue

Melbourne - 23 July 2020: As Australia emerges from pandemic lockdown, The Big Issue vendors are returning to city streets across Australia. A new campaign from Town Square announces that it’s back to business for vendors, proudly selling the magazine to earn their way out of homelessness, disadvantage and marginalisation.

The Working For Home campaign makes a bold and simple statement, playing off a phrase that has become all too common to the Australian workforce since the coronavirus restrictions were imposed. This is an optimistic, forward-looking campaign, reminding us that The Big Issue vendors are working every day to support themselves. Each self-employed Big Issue vendor buys copies of the fortnightly magazine for half the cover price and retains the retail margin as their income.

Town Square, which has been working with The Big Issue on a pro bono basis for a number of years, developed the campaign in association with Carat, who has secured impressive exposure, including donated media on TV, radio, press, OOH and online.

Steven Persson, CEO at The Big Issue said: “Across the lockdown, The Big Issue turned to digital editions to keep our readers as engaged as possible, and set up a fund to provide immediate assistance to at-risk vendors. But now that restrictions are lifting in many of our cities, our vendors are returning to work, seeking to support themselves just like the rest of the Australian workforce. This campaign is our proud announcement that vendors are back, earning an income. We look forward to seeing more Big Issue readers enjoy the magazine, knowing that purchasing a copy is helping some of the most disadvantaged in our community to earn a living.”

Harry Corsham, Director at Town Square added: “COVID-19 has been hard on us all but the lock-down has hit the disadvantaged harder than most. This campaign plays with language to remind us of this, with a simple, optimistic message that invites people to show a bit of social solidarity at a tough time, by supporting the smallest local business on their block. We are grateful to everyone who has donated their time and resources to make this campaign happen.”

Sue Squillace, CEO of Carat ANZ, said the agency has no hesitation when it comes to helping in times like this. “It’s not only rewarding to witness the generosity of our long-term media partners, but seeing how quickly they responded when asked to support this great cause has been overwhelming.  I’m also very proud of the Carat team and their collaborative and passionate approach during this campaign.”

Please note: Vendors in Melbourne are currently not selling due to COVID-19 restrictions. They will return to street selling once it is deemed safe to do so.

Campaign Material

TV 30”: https://vimeo.com/440575251/73d7863361

TV 15” A: https://vimeo.com/440575524/28d32968ad

TV 15” B: https://vimeo.com/440575376/9c9869a86d

TV 15” C: https://vimeo.com/440575449/cecc5d6238

Radio: please access audio file here.

OOH: please access audio file here.


The Big Issue

CEO: Steven Persson

National Communications & Partnerships Manager: Steph Say

Marketing & Events Manager: Hope Oliver


Town Square

Creative Director: Brendan Day

Copywriter: Kevin Dolan

Art Director: Benny Moore        

Chief Strategy Officer: Neville Doyle

Account Director: Jessica Hay

Producer: Bec Stielow

Editor: Jimmy Walker


Production Company: Picture Co.

Director / DOP: Nathan Christoffel

Sound Recordist / Photographer: Jess Curry

Sound Studio: Bang Bang Studios

Despatch: Peach



Client Leader: Janine Virtue

Client Director: Adelle Sturges

Client Manager: Jade Bailey






About The Big Issue
Since launching in Australia in 1996 more than 13 million Big Issue magazines have been sold, putting $31 million into the pockets of more than 7,000 disadvantaged Australians. Research shows The Big Issue magazine generates a positive social return of $5.50 for every $1 invested in the enterprise, due to a reduced demand for social, health and justice services among sellers. An independent report estimated the magazine saved the community approximately $25,000 per vendor in the 2014-15 year.



About Town Square

Town Square is an independent, full-service creative agency, based in Melbourne, working with brands across Australia. Clients include APT, Armaguard,

The Big Issue, Captain’s Choice, City of Ballarat, Frasers Property, Sovereign Hill, Tasman Butchers, Travelmarvel, and Weir Minerals.



For more information

Harry Corsham | Town Square | harry@townsquare.agency | 0418 665986