• Sweden edition
 
H&M apologizes for super-tan bikini model ad

H&M apologizes for super-tan bikini model ad

Published: 10 May 2012 16:38 GMT+02:00
Updated: 10 May 2012 16:38 GMT+02:00

"We are sorry if we have upset anyone with our latest swimwear campaign. It was not our intention to show off a specific ideal or to encourage dangerous behaviour, but was instead to show off our latest summer collection," the company said in an email sent to AFP.

"We have taken note of the views and will continue to discuss this internally ahead of future campaigns," it added.

When speaking with The Local on Wednesday, H&M had initially defended the ads in the face of criticism from cancer researchers in Switzerland, explaining it had chosen a model with darker skin in order to best show off the swimwear's bright colours.

“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,” an H&M representative told The Local.

But H&M reversed its stance on the campaign after the Swedish Cancer Society (Cancerfonden) on Thursday blasted the advertisements, which feature Fontana wearing brightly-coloured swimwear accentuated by a dark-brown tan.

"The clothing giant is creating, not least among young people, a beauty ideal that is deadly," the cancer society wrote in an opinion piece in the Dagens Nyheter (DN) newspaper on Thursday.

"Every year, more people die in Sweden of (skin cancer) than in traffic accidents, and the main cause is too much sunning," the group said.

"Regardless of how the H&M model got her tan, through sunning or a computer programme, the effect is the same: H&M tells us we should be very tan on the beach," it said.

"It is sad to write this, but H&M will through its latest advertising campaign not only sell more bathing suits but also contribute to more people dying from skin cancer."

The adverts were slammed earlier in the week by a cancer awareness groups in Switzerland which reacted negatively to the use of Fontana bronzed body.

“Many people, especially the young, will try to emulate this and will try to be just as brown, although with some skin types it is just not possible," Dr. Ralph Braun, from the Early Skin Cancer Centre at Zurich University Hospital, told online news site 20 Minuten.

Even former Miss Switzerland Amanda Ammann, who has previously suffered from skin cancer, joined in the criticism.

“I think it's a shame, because such advertising gives the wrong impression. People will try to imitate this unrealistic ideal,” she told 20 Minuten.

H&M has previously come under fire for using very thin models in its advertising campaigns.

AFP/The Local

Follow The Local on Twitter

Your comments about this article

17:42 May 10, 2012 by johnny1939
I am so sick and tired of the press and others thinking that people have no common sense. Who makes decision based on a silly ad.
17:43 May 10, 2012 by Vermaldeehide
Patricia Krentcil?
17:48 May 10, 2012 by fancyavi
alot of people especially young impressionable persons will be affected. what H&M should do in his ads is use a wide range of models from black, white, Asian etc backgrounds and of different sizes and different ages so that all will see themselves in the cloths and be interested. this is why only a small group of women i.e thin, young, white etc ....are the main customer base for H&M.
21:46 May 10, 2012 by rachann
Just because Sweden doesn't get sun and the people don't get tan here doesn't mean the Swedes need to hate on people with natural beauty.
23:45 May 10, 2012 by entry
I am dramatically and actually physically affected by this super-tan bikini model advertisement! This is not a complaint.
00:47 May 11, 2012 by Black Beauty
If it was a dark skinned model that H&M needed, then why didn't they use a Black model? She would have the required "tan" naturally to make the colours pop! Are we THAT despised in your country?
01:18 May 11, 2012 by Spuds MacKenzie
I hope H&M pulls this ad immediately! Tanning is a horrible thing for your body and it also looks disgusting on everyone.
04:43 May 11, 2012 by Lunneia
@ Black Beauty.

You are absolutely right!

...Whites are desperately trying to look dark in order to feel good and dark-skinned women are desperately bleaching their skins in their bid to look better!

Pathetic world!

Those who have it don't want it and those who want it don't have it! That said, why not just use a black woman in the ad instead?

OOPS! I forgot i was still in Sweden!
08:12 May 11, 2012 by fikatid
Oh please, come on, people. They just love to complain. They should then ban all ads that feature women with big boobs, guys who are muscular, women and men who are not "lagom". Give me a break!

They should ban the Dressman underwear ad then. Stupid people.
08:32 May 11, 2012 by rise
Moral to learn: never use other models but those with a white skin!
09:38 May 11, 2012 by Rishonim
What a heap of cry cry babies moonshine. The ad doesn't force people to go and bake themselves in the sun. It is simple stating that they wanted to enhance the bikini and in certain way it looks better on someone with darker skin. Where is the free choice?? I am lactose intolerant yet i am not going about crying for them to ban adverts of milk/icecream. I also agree with Black Beauty and Lunneia
20:53 June 23, 2012 by yuri_nahl
What a pile of dung! If you know the sun causes cancer and you insist on baking yourself in the sun, that indicates you have not used your judgement and need a skin transplant.
Today's headlines
Politics
Nuclear freeze agreed by new government
A nuclear power station in Forsmark, Sweden. Photo: TT

Nuclear freeze agreed by new government

Sweden's Social Democrats and Greens Party have announced a coalition agreement to halt nuclear energy development. READ  

International
Sweden rethinks Afghan translators' asylum
A Swedish soldier in Afghanistan. Photo: TT

Sweden rethinks Afghan translators' asylum

The Migration Court in Malmö has ruled that Sweden's Migration Board was wrong to reject the residence applications of seven Afghan interpreters without assessing their protection needs. READ  

The Local List
Top five winter festivals in Sweden
Speak Percussion will perform at Connect in Malmö in November. Photo: Connect

Top five winter festivals in Sweden

Autumn has swept into the country and chilly days lie ahead. But there are plenty of winter festivals where you can warm up in the coming months. With tickets already selling fast, here are The Local's top tips. READ  

Business
Swedish Saab plant sheds a third of workers
Workers at the Saab plant in Trollhättan. Photo: TT

Swedish Saab plant sheds a third of workers

Swedish car maker Saab has announced it has axed 155 workers, close to a third of its workforce. READ  

International
Sweden's 'most dangerous art' on sale
A Danish site is selling the works that the Swedish state wants destroyed. Screenshot: www.entartetekunst.dk

Sweden's 'most dangerous art' on sale

Work by controversial jailed Swedish artist Dan Park is on sale online and could reach a gallery in Copenhagen, despite a previous exhibition being pulled. READ  

Society
Sweden is 'second best' place to grow old
Pensioners in Sweden. Photo: TT

Sweden is 'second best' place to grow old

Sweden has dropped to second place in an annual index measuring the quality of life of elderly people in 96 countries around the world. READ  

National
Top Swedish skier killed in Chile avalanche
Andreas Fransson, left. Photo: Markus Alatalo

Top Swedish skier killed in Chile avalanche

UPDATED: The bodies of two of the world's top skiers, Sweden's Andreas Fransson and JP Auclair from Canada, were found on Tuesday after they were reported missing in an avalanche in the Andes. READ  

Politics
Coalition promise to boost welfare and jobs
Social Democrat leader Stefan Löfven. Photo: TT

Coalition promise to boost welfare and jobs

UPDATED: The Social Democrats and the Greens have agreed to raise unemployment payments and promised to create more jobs in the construction industry, The Local has learned. READ  

National
Ikea recalls elk pasta
Two types of pasta are affected. Photo: IKEA

Ikea recalls elk pasta

Ikea has pulled two different types of elk-shaped pasta from its stores in Sweden. READ  

Presented by Regus
How to get your own great office in Stockholm
A woman using a Regus workspace. Photo: Regus

How to get your own great office in Stockholm

Stockholm's business climate is hotter than ever, which leaves start-ups and business travellers hunting high and low for flexible office space. The solution is easier than they think. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
National
Apology for Swedish model's stolen photos
Politics
New coalition agrees on defence and migration
Fastighetsbyrån
Gallery
Property of the week: Botkyrka
Education
New government to make school compulsory to 18
Politics
Sweden Democrat wins Deputy Speaker spot
Blog updates

28 September

Spoiled Doyle (Blogweiser) »

"What you gotta watch out for in Sweden is the good stuff. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Re_EzUe6xpI In Sweden, it’s the good things you have to watch out for. Video on @TheLocalSweden http://t.co/rAb8eGFdTD pic.twitter.com/w37YYwMXy1 — Joel Sherwood (@joeldsherwood) September 29, 2014 " READ »

 

26 September

 (The Local Sweden) »

"Hi readers, Autumn swept into Sweden at the start of this week with snow in the north of the country and flooding in the south. As well as a change in the weather, Sweden’s change in political direction became clearer, with Social Democrat leader Stefan Lofven formally announcing his party would work with the Greens as..." READ »

 
 
 
National
Swedish scientists sneak Bob Dylan lyrics into articles
Lifestyle
The five best Swedish songs of the month
Gallery
People-watching: September 28th
National
When Italian style meets Swedish simplicity
Lifestyle
Review: Sweden's first alcohol-free nightclub
Gallery
In Pictures: The MS Estonia disaster
Lifestyle
Ten things expat women notice in Sweden
Politics
What's next on Sweden's political stage?
Gallery
Sweden's 2014 election: Most memorable moments
Society
What's on in Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: September 24th
Seaman Oliver Gee with his first lobster
Lifestyle
How to catch the first lobster of the year
Gallery
In Pictures: Fredrik Reinfeldt through the years.
Society
Plucked out of Canada for love and guitars
Politics
How Sweden Democrats went mainstream
Politics
Scandinavia and Scotland: closer links?
Sponsored Article
How to start a business in Stockholm
Society
Why is Stockholm's Södermalm so cool?
Politics
Sweden elections: Who's who?
Sponsored Article
Introducing… Insurance in Stockholm
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

852
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
http://psdmedia.se
If you want to drink, that’s your business.
If you want to stop, we can help.

Learn more about English-language Alcoholics Anonymous in Sweden. No dues. No fees. Confidentiality assured.
AA-EUROPE.ORG/SWEDEN