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H&M defends bikini ad amid skin cancer worries

H&M defends bikini ad amid skin cancer worries

Published: 09 May 2012 16:43 GMT+02:00
Updated: 09 May 2012 16:43 GMT+02:00

Experts have slammed Swedish retail giant H&M's new swimwear campaign for its alleged glorification of super-tanned bodies.

The adverts – which portray brightly coloured swimwear on a heavily tanned model – have caused consternation in the world media in the countries featuring the adverts.

A cancer awareness organization in Switzerland, which also shows the ad, has slammed the retailer, claiming that their adverts have undermined their own advertising.

H&M have defended the campaign by saying that they had chosen a model with darker skin in order to best show the strong colours on sale this season.

“The model in the swimwear campaign is called Isabeli Fontana and she is Brazilian, which means that she has a darker skin tone than most Europeans,” H&M representatives told The Local.

However, other pictures featuring the model show that her skin tone is nowhere near as deep as the colour portrayed in the latest H&M campaign.

But, representatives have claimed that the model is inspiring, and that skin tone has nothing to do with their focus.

“Of course we think this is an important subject, however the aim with our campaign is to show our swimwear collection, which we think that Isabeli Fontana is doing in a good and inspiring way,” the organization said.

Every year, some 2,800 people in Sweden are diagnosed with malignant melanomas, now one of the most common forms of cancer in Sweden.

Besides Australia, Sweden is the country with the largest percentage of its population struck by the cancer.

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Your comments about this article

19:17 May 9, 2012 by CDRoth
Really, how ignorant does your government think the Swedish people are? At this point are there any people in a developed country who have not heard about the link skin cancer has to sunlight (UV) exposure? If, having heard the reports, a person still enthusiastically revels in the tanning process that would appear to be it. This overbearing, interfering federal paternalism is a continuing insult to people who have made legitimate personal decisions and would prefer that government spends it's time harassing felons and other malefactors.
07:44 May 10, 2012 by Marc the Texan
I'm sure we can find the latent racism in this story and make it the headline. The Local must be losing their touch.
15:35 May 10, 2012 by Spuds MacKenzie
This ad is bad: tanning should never be glorified. Skin cancer IS a serious problem. Shame on H&M!
15:51 May 10, 2012 by BraBel
That must be artificial tan, she's as white as any Swedish girl... what a lame excuse "She is Brazilian so she's darker".... in this ad she looks like she's just about to get serious sunburns....
22:57 May 10, 2012 by Da Goat
Naturally brown women are gorgeous but over tanned women are plain ghastly

Natural tan is much better, there is no reason at all to go out and lie in the sun, go out and do something productive while you are there if you really must!
05:28 May 11, 2012 by Lunneia
Just use and African for the ad next time!

It beats my mind why some people discriminate based of skin colour, yet sit in the sun the whole day in order to look like those they feel superior to...funny world. Low IQ is a BYIATCH if Karma isnt!
17:05 May 11, 2012 by Vermaldeehide
Interesting, these are completely different comments than yesterday and there are only 6 of them, what about the comments that were made yesterday?

What gives?
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