'Billboards are harming our wellbeing', Micah Purnell’s empowering message against advertising

A giant billboard in the heart of Manchester celebrates its first anniversary amid evidence that national wellbeing is adversely affected by outdoor advertising.

Artist and designer Micah Purnell’s empowering ‘YOU ARE ENOUGH’ billboard offers a cleansing antidote to what he considers harmful advertising practise.

"Capitalist ideology imparts the idea that we are only worthy of love and belonging once we buy into their product or service," says Manchester-based Purnell. "Advertising reinforces this idea with the assumption that we are inadequate - essentially stealing our love of ourselves, and selling it back to us at a price."

Standing proud in the heart of Manchester’s university district, Purnell’s 22x13 foot installation towers above the streets below – giving a refreshingly affirming message to passing students and commuters. The design has enjoyed a full academic year aside St Peter’s House, and by popular demand is set to remain for a second year, and now, Purnell plans to spread more visually prominent empowerment messages throughout the wider boroughs of Manchester.

"The World Economic Forum has found evidence of negative links between national advertising and national wellbeing," notes Purnell, "moreover, research professor Brené Brown has found that the one thing keeping us from love and belonging is the fear that we are not worthy of love and belonging. She found that those who fully experience joy and live wholeheartedly have the courage to accept their imperfection – recognising and believing that they are enough. We are all enough, but sadly, it’s harder to believe this when we’re bombarded by toxic messages suggesting we’re not. Through my ‘Selling Virtues’ project, I invite everyone to hold these cynical commercial intrusions to account and play a bigger part in their own happiness and wellbeing."

Now seeking funding to expand his ‘Selling Virtues’ project, visit Micah Purnell’s campaign page at sellingvirtues.co.uk.