‘Irresponsible’ sunburn competition banned

6th Oct 2011
Written by: James Roberts

‘Sunburn competition’ banned for being 'irresponsible'

It’s fairly common for people to come back from their gap year with photos of themselves sunburnt after a long day on the beach. So when travel comparison site Dealchecker dreamt up a competition for people to send in their worst sunburn pictures to win a holiday they thought they were onto a winner.

Unfortunately for them, The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) had other ideas. Following complaints about the responsibility of the contest the ASA has banned Dealchecker from running the competition further and ordered associated content to be removed from their website, according to the Daily Mail.

The contest was launched through a marketing email with the subject line ‘Earn while you burn’. Participants were encouraged to send photos of themselves looking pink, peeling and frazzled to 'likealobster@dealchecker.co.uk'.

The top prize was to be a free holiday for two, with runners-up receiving sun cream.

Dealchecker claim that the competition was intended to promote sun safety, and that they wanted people to email in old photos, as opposed to new ones. The company argued that the contest was a ‘light-hearted attempt to make people think about a serious issue’.

Dealchecker managing director Mark Attwell said: "Our intention was to raise awareness of the dangers of sunburn, promote responsible behaviour and the use of sunscreen."

However, the ASA interpreted the competition somewhat differently, and stated that the promotion was 'irresponsible' and that the structure of the contest 'could be seen to trivialise sunburn'. They concluded that the competition 'could encourage recipients to get sunburnt in order to enter'.

Some commentators have been posting their opinions on Twitter. Steve Evans, an online travel consultant, said: "Oh dear, Dealchecker. Poor show on the sunburn competition." It is unknown whether or not he was being sarcastic.

A recent report from the North West Cancer Research Fund has shown that incidence rates of skin cancer are far higher in Britain than in Australia. The organisation revealed that two thirds of Britons believed that cloud cover could prevent the sun burning them.

They also disclosed that while 96 per cent of surveyed Britons were prepared to wear protective sun cream abroad, 65 per cent do not use it whilst holidaying within the UK.

Story and quotes sourced from TravelMail

Do you think the ASA were right to ban the competition? Was it just a bit of harmless fun? And do you have any sunburn photos of yourself from your gap year that you can email to us? (There is no prize.) Leave us some comments below with your thoughts.

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