Friday 24 November 2017

Face savers: Enterprising students sell face space for ads to pay off debts

Emma Hallett

TWO enterprising graduates are selling advertising space on their faces to pay off a combined student debt of almost £50,000 (€57,000).

Faced with a challenging job market, former Cambridge students Ed Moyse and Ross Harper are painting different company logos on to their faces.

Anyone can buy the advertising space, from businesses to individuals or groups, on a day-to-day basis. The logo is then seen by everyone they pass as they go about their daily business.

The graduates, who met on their first day at Selwyn College, Cambridge, started the business on October 1 and said they made £3,500 (€4,000) in the first 10 days.

The boys said they are "armed only with massive student debt and a firm grasp of the principles of viral advertising" as they attempt to survive for a year solely on income generated by transforming themselves into walking advertisements.

Mr Harper, 21, from Greenwich, south London, who studied neuroscience, said: "It's our unconventional way of paying off our student debt.

"The graduate job market is incredibly hostile, and so we thought we'd try and bypass it altogether.

"We've seen so many students unsuccessfully applying for jobs, only to eventually settle in a career that they never really wanted. It's just something a bit different and has taken off quite nicely."

Mr Moyse, 22, from Poole, Dorset, said: "It has exceeded expectations, but we always knew it had value and is novel and crazy."

So far, one of the main contributors has been online betting agency, Paddy Power, Mr Harper said.

Mr Moyse, who studied economics, and Mr Harper came up with the idea after graduating in the summer as a scheme which would not require much investment.

The pair sold their first face ads to friends and family for just £1 a day but said if the days stayed at this price it would take a very long time to pay off their university debt. The price of days will increase gradually throughout the year.

People can log on to their website, where their painted faces are on display.

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