The 60-second spot features music from the band Supergrass and is the first ad the Big Issue Foundation has launched since 1998. It aims to tackle the public's increasing apathy towards giving money to homeless people.
"How to rip off the British public" illustrates a string of events affecting a person's life, such as child abuse and mental illness, which can lead to them becoming homeless.
The spot ends with the strapline: "There are 400,000 homeless people in Britain who aren't in it for the money."
The brand content specialist Stream developed the tie-in with Supergrass, who donated the track Never done nothing like that before. Planned summer activity involves tie-ins with the Big Issue such as festival promotions, CD offers and tickets.
The ad was written by James Sinclair and art directed by Ed Morris at TBWA. It was directed by Richard Anthony through Method Films. Media is by TBWA.
"The ad will enable us to raise the wider issues around homelessness. It aims to remind people that homelessness is an issue that affects the whole of society, not just the person on the street," said David Peet, regional manager of the Big Issue Foundation for Midlands and East Anglia.