Voluntary Sector: TOWIE stars raise poverty awareness

Burson-Marsteller was engaged by charity Global Poverty Project to drive participation and donations for an initiative called Live Below The Line, where those taking part attempted to live on £1 a day for five days.

TOWIE girls: raising awareness of the Global Poverty Project
TOWIE girls: raising awareness of the Global Poverty Project

Campaign: Live Below the Line: Making extreme poverty relevant to UK
Client: Global Poverty Project
PR teams: Burson-Marsteller; in-house
Timescale: January-June 2012
Budget: £12,500


To raise awareness and drive media coverage to generate funds.


The teams approached the cast of The Only Way is Essex and asked them to take part in a cookery competition judged by journalists. The agency selected the Waterhouse restaurant in Shoreditch as a venue.

Guided by resident chef and graduate of Jamie Oliver's Fifteen restaurant, Lloyd Hayes, the stars donned their Live Below The Line aprons and cooked for the press, who voted on the meals. Photo agencies were invited to cover the stunt. After the event, the teams invited the The Only Way is Essex stars to tweet their support for the campaign.


The coverage included 342 pieces of print, broadcast, radio, online and podcast articles. The picture story and video feed were picked up by media all over the world including CNN, the BBC, Al Jazeera, Reuters, Yahoo, Sky News, InStyle, Los Angeles Times, The Sun, Russia Today and MSNBC.


In 2011, the first year of Live Below The Line in the UK, 1,280 people took part in the challenge, raising a total of £180,000. In 2012, 3,000 participants took part in the challenge, raising almost £500,000 - a 177 per cent rise in donations.

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