Soak up this advice to stay safe in the sun

May 9th '24

Sun Awareness Week is a campaign in May that seeks to raise awareness of skin cancer, the dangers of tanning and sunburn, and encourages people to check for signs of skin cancer. 


Follow these top sun safety tips to make sure your ads avoid the heat of the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).


  • Apply your suncream (and claims) correctly.

Advertisers need to hold documentary evidence to substantiate any claims about suncream, including a product’s SPF, its UVB or star rating, or if it’s broad spectrum (Space NK Ltd, 9 November 2016).


This would also apply to products which include SPF, such as a moisturiser, or any other claims, such as if it’s water resistant or a foundation that can hydrate skin (Coty UK Ltd, 9 May 2018).


If a product has been reformulated to include a higher SPF protection but lower SPF protection products are still available to purchase, advertisers may wish to include information in their ads to advise consumers to check the label before buying.


  • Protect yourself to avoid getting burnt.

The ASA has previously considered ads which either stated or implied there wasn’t a link between using a sunbed and the risk of developing skin cancer were misleading so advertisers should take care not to diminish these risks.


While advertisers may wish to include authorised health and nutrition claims about Vitamin D that appear on the Great Britain NHC Register in their ads, it’s not advisable to overstate any benefits of using a sunbed to increase a consumer’s Vitamin D levels or claim there are health benefits, such as reducing the risk of diabetes, to be gained from their use.


It’s also important for advertisers to remember if they want to make any medical or health claims about their product, ads shouldn’t discourage consumers from seeking medical advice.


  • Be socially responsible.

Ads should be socially responsible and particular care should be taken to ensure they are targeted appropriately. Ads for cosmetic interventions, such as using a sunbed, should not be directed at consumers under 18. A sunbed ad broke the rules when the ASA found the available tools on social media that can help restrict ads from certain audiences weren’t used to prevent those under 18 from viewing it.


By making sure your ads comply with the Ad Rules, advertisers can enjoy the sunnier months ahead.


Source: Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP)


About CAP

The CAP is the sister organisation of the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) and is responsible for writing the Advertising Codes.


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