Tanning Group Assails Criticism In Ads

  • March 27, 2008
On Wednesday, the Indoor Tanning Association (ITA) launched a nationwide campaign encouraging the public to "rethink sun-tanning" and criticizing dermatologists and the sunscreen and cosmetics industries for "scaring Americans out of the sun."

The advertising blitz began with a full-page print ad in The New York Times and a television ad airing in major media markets throughout the country. The ITA has also launched two new Web sites, TrustTanning.com and SunlightScam.com.

The campaign highlights recent scientific evidence that the ITA says shows that exposure to ultraviolet light, whether from the sun or a tanning bed, stimulates the natural production of vitamin D--found to protect against heart disease and many types of cancer. "Unfortunately, 60% of Americans are now vitamin D deficient, due in part to the profit-motivated fear-mongering by dermatologists and the sunscreen and cosmetic industries," it said. Vitamin D deficiency is particularly common in cities north of the 37th parallel, where it is impossible to get the vitamin in adequate amounts from the sun during the bleak winter months, said the group. The ITA's campaign will focus on those cities, with commercials airing in New York, Boston, Washington, D.C., Chicago, San Francisco, Seattle, and Pittsburgh.

--Nina M. Lentini



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