Publicis Media’s Sacha Feldman on The Big Issue and Citroën’s electric vehicle partnership

Sacha Feldman chats to us about Citroën's new partnership with the Big Issue Group, and how they plan to tackle carbon emissions

In August, Big Issue Group and Citroën UK announced a three-year partnership to bring a full fleet of electric vans on the road on behalf of The Big Issue, as well as a multi-channel content partnership, brokered by Publicis’ Starcom UK. MediaCat Magazine spoke to Sacha Feldman (below), Partnerships Director at Publicis Media Content (PMC)/Starcom UK about the details of the partnership.

The Big Issue and Citroën feels an unexpected partnership, how did it come to be?

There are more connections between the two organizations than first appears. The new all-electric Citroën vans will make the delivery process more sustainable and will help The Big Issue tackle its carbon emissions — which is a key aim of the Group in the face of the worsening climate crisis.

As a brand, Citroën is always looking for ways to bring their electric offering to as many businesses and partners as possible. Due to many cities now becoming Clean Air Zones and charging older vehicles for travelling in city centres to reduce pollution, this partnership has come at a crucial moment.

In what ways does this partnership benefit each brand? What are you both getting out of it?

This partnership will demonstrate how these two forward-thinking brands can come together to help the community in a more sustainable way. Citroën powering The Big Issue via a fleet of electric vehicles directly showcases Citroën’s commitment to electrification and sustainability. The Big Issue has had a mission to help others since it was established, so they thought; why not help the planet whilst helping the community? Together, both companies will be able to make even greater strides in the support and services available for the most marginalised across the country.

Can you tell us about the vehicles for this initiative — what’s special about them?

Citroën will be providing The Big Issue with a fleet of electric light commercial vehicles (ë-LCVs). Due to its zero tailpipe emissions, the new EV fleet will be exempt from most congestion and low-emission zone charges — so The Big Issue staff can navigate through busy urban centres without worrying about extra costs.

Will this new fleet of vans have a positive impact on vendors and customers in any way?

The Connected Navigation in these new vehicles will simplify the delivery process, helping staff reach more vendors in a smoother way. With this new fleet of vehicles, The Big Issue will be distributed in cities and remote locations, where response times will be shorter, especially when vendors require a quick response.

Moving from petrol to electric (in terms of vehicles) — will we see more of this sort of thing from both brands in the near future?

The transition to electric will take place gradually over the course of the partnership. In the first phase of going electric, The Big Issue Group are working with Citroën UK to roll out electric vans in Bristol and Bath for the South-West, Bournemouth covering Dorset, Norwich for East Anglia, and Newcastle for the North-East, adding more over the next three years. Certainly, one of The Big Issue’s key aims is to tackle its carbon emissions in the face of the worsening climate crisis.

Who’s the audience for this project and how do you plan to reach them?

The audience for this campaign is the everyday consumer, no specific demographic or age bracket, but anyone who is interested in doing better for communities and the planet. We plan to reach them via this multi-channel content partnership, led by The Big Issue’s branded content department and brokered by Publicis Media agency, Starcom UK and Publicis Media Content (PMC) highlights the meaningful impact the partnership is having on the Group’s front-line services, whilst raising greater awareness of Citroën’s commitment to innovation and the accessibility of electric vehicles. The issues of housing and homelessness, along with sustainability, affect us all as a society and we hope to reach as many people as possible with the activations across various platforms and touchpoints, including print and digital advertorials, social, display, PR and paid social.

Any final things to tell the readers?

By partnering with The Big Issue, an organisation with a strong focus on improving people’s lives, this partnership, on and off the road, will demonstrate how these two forward-thinking brands can come together to help the community in a more sustainable way. Citroën powering The Big Issue via a fleet of electric vehicles directly showcases Citroën’s commitment to make mobility affordable, sustainable, and accessible to all.