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Micah Purnell

Micah Purnell is crowdfunding

£1,465raised of £3,000 target by 26 supporters

Weʼre raising £3,000 to enlist the greatest minds & global ad agencies to execute a billboard campaign for living well.

Manchester, UK
10 days to go

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Do Billboards Kill?

Evidence of a negative effect

"We have found evidence of negative links between national advertising and national wellbeing (Michel et al. 2019). Using longitudinal information on countries, from pooled cross-sectional surveys, we find that rises and falls in advertising are followed, a few years later, by falls and rises in national life-satisfaction, giving an inverse connection between advertising levels and the later wellbeing levels of nations."

Part of DesignMcr19

When a psychologist, sociologist and philosopher tell three ad agencies what we need to live well, the results are an ad campaign Selling Virtues.

In 1995 - while I was getting into MTV, television was being introduced to Fiji for the first time. Within just three years Fiji saw their very first reports of anorexia and bulimia. The natives had traditionally celebrated a fuller figure, but now were aiming for the physic of those in the hit TV series 'Beverly Hills 90210' as was exposed in the New York Times. It was then that I realised the negative impact of corporate visual messaging.

We’ll ask the greatest minds; who truly understand the deeper needs of human beings what we need to live well, in contrast to what advertising often tells us. Then, we’ll team them up with the powerful and talented advertising agencies to execute not one but three creative, fun and energetic print campaigns for some of the good stuff that we do need, on 36+ bus shelters and billboards across Greater Manchester.

The list below are thinkers and ad agencies agreed at point of publication.

The Thinkers

Psychologist - Oliver James (Author, broadcaster, columnist)

Sociologist - Anne Cronin (Author specialising in the impact of advertising)

Philosopher - Simon Critchley (New School for Social Research NY, author)

Creative Agencies

Tiger Savage - World Leading female Creative Director (Lynx, Adidas, Vogue)

Micah Purnell - multidisciplinary creative studio with Design Thinking and Ethical Persuasion™ at heart. This means an alternative approach to problem solving and a passion to pursue meaningful projects that offer a tangible benefit to people’s wellbeing.

Havas Lynx - Global Healthcare Ad agency (Johnson & Johnson, General Electric)


To top it off we’ll host a panel conversation with all involved to explore the campaign and discuss the ethical line in advertising from design, psychological, sociological and philosophical perspectives.

Can or should brands and advertising sell virtues and work together for the common good or should that be left to the humanities?


The total needed for such an ambitious project is upwards of £20K+. Applications are going out elsewhere, but, we need match funding to kick us off. If things go well we may increase the goal to include a publication celebrating the project with articles around the theme of commercial messaging.

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Micah Purnell

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    9 months ago

    Micah Purnell started crowdfunding

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    Page last updated on: 8/14/2019 11.43



    • Anonymous


      Aug 14, 2019

      All the best with the project.

    • Matt Carson

      Matt Carson

      Aug 13, 2019

      A great project, Micah - looking forward to seeing the results!


    • Megan Collins

      Megan Collins

      Aug 12, 2019

      This is great Micah!


    • Steve Lambert

      Steve Lambert

      Aug 10, 2019

      Micah! Glad to see you continue your work. I know how much time and energy it takes and happy to support you in a small way.


    • Anonymous


      Aug 8, 2019


    • Bert Thighblast

      Bert Thighblast

      Aug 8, 2019

      Nice one Micah, great project, best of luck


    • Ghislaine Howard

      Ghislaine Howard

      Aug 7, 2019

      Good luck with everything Micah, it’s a brilliant project!


    Micah Purnell

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    About the fundraiser
    Micah Purnell

    Micah Purnell

    Manchester, UK

    Graphic designer, artist & thinker passionate about good design in public places that build our well-being. Purnell has been reclaiming advertising space for over 10 years on hoardings, poster sites and his own billboard in Manchester.

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