• 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

Swedish cheap-and-chic fashion giant H&M on Thursday apologized over a swimwear campaign featuring a deeply tanned model that sparked outrage among cancer groups.

"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

Don't miss...X
Left Right

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
Sponsored Article
On the move: Sweden's shifting mobility trends
House keys: Shutterstock.

On the move: Sweden's shifting mobility trends

Finding somewhere to live when you move to Sweden is a challenge. With changes afoot The Local caught up with an expert from letting agency Residensportalen to find out in what direction the market is going, and how Google Glasses may just help you find your dream home. READ () »

The Local List
Ten most disgusting Swedish foods
Salty liquorice, anyone? Photo: Anders Wiklund/TT

Ten most disgusting Swedish foods

Swedish food is, of course, a matter of taste. But it's mostly disgusting. Our loyal followers on Twitter and Facebook shared what they thought were the worst of them all. READ () »

Sweden wants cruise missiles 'for defence'
Defence Minister Karin Enström. File photo: TT

Sweden wants cruise missiles 'for defence'

The Swedish government has announced plans to beef up its defence forces by fitting its fleet of Gripen fighter jets with long-range cruise missiles. READ () »

Swede of the Week
Sweden's oldest would-be MP: 'They promised I wouldn't get in'
Swedes vote in the 2010 elections. File photo: Dan Hansson/TT

Sweden's oldest would-be MP: 'They promised I wouldn't get in'

Gösta Arvedson, 89, is the oldest Riksdag candidate in Sweden, but our Swede of the Week explains that the Liberal Party (Folkpartiet) had to make some unusual promises for him to put his name forward. READ () »

Elections 2014
Most Swedes lack info ahead of EU vote
The Green Party is one of only two parties devoting their websites to the EU elections. Here campaign manager Emma Rung presents the party's posters. Photo: Leif R Jansson/TT

Most Swedes lack info ahead of EU vote

The majority of Swedes feel the country's political parties are not doing enough to inform them about the upcoming European Parliament elections. Only two of the eight parties have dedicated their homepages to the May 25th polls. READ () »

Fatal Norrköping Brawl
Local church tried to stop Norrköping murders
Swedish police on the scene following Monday's fatal brawl. File: TT

Local church tried to stop Norrköping murders

The Syrian-Orthodox Church in Ektorp had tried to quell tensions between two rival families just hours before bad blood spilled into a massive brawl and two brothers lost their lives. READ () »

JobTalk Sweden
'Foreigners don't need to show banks Swedish ID'
The bridge that connects Sweden to the European continent. File: L.E. Daniel Larsson/Flickr

'Foreigners don't need to show banks Swedish ID'

The Swedish agency that helps Europeans fight impediments to the EU principle of free movement has revealed an increase in complaints, including one from a foreign citizen unable to open a bank account in Sweden. READ () »

Eurovision 2014
Pig heart shatters in Sweden's Eurovision clip
Sanna Nielsen in the new clip. Photo: YouTube (screenshot)

Pig heart shatters in Sweden's Eurovision clip

Sweden's Eurovision hopeful Sanna Nielsen released the official video for the song Undo on Wednesday, a clip featuring leather, slow motion destruction, and a frozen pig's heart and some violence. READ () »

Software robot pinches Swedish flats in seconds
Swedish apartments. File: The Local

Software robot pinches Swedish flats in seconds

A Swedish landlord suspects that a property fixer has set up a software robot to sign up for new flats on the market within seconds, and is charging house hunters to use the service. READ () »

Swedish zoo fire 'kills only the spiders'
Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

Swedish zoo fire 'kills only the spiders'

Twenty-five fire fighters were on hand on Wednesday night when a fire broke out in a southern Sweden animal park. The vast majority of the animals were unharmed, but the cluster of spiders wasn't so lucky. READ () »

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Shutterstock
Sponsored Article
On the move: Sweden's shifting mobility trends
finest.se
Gallery
People-watching April 23
TT
Gallery
Inside the 850-year-old king's coffin
Features
Sponsored: South-eastern Sweden offers Öland beaches and more
Gallery
Swedish underwear shop puts staff in front of the camera
Gallery
IN PICTURES: The Local's Property of the Week - Täby
Sponsored: India+Sweden Week - India Unlimited
Features
Sponsored: India+Sweden Week - A film, food, and finance feast
National
University applications rocket to record high
finest.se
Gallery
People-watching April 18-20
TT
Society
Kids in Victorian garb mark Swedish Easter
Shutterstock
National
Swedish MP ordered chemtrail probe
Society
Swedish supermarket Ica pulls contested Easter commercial off air
Advertisement:
Kungahuset
Society
Swedish royals set baptism date for princess
finest.se
Gallery
People-watching April 16
Politics
Who's the prime minister's heir?
Alfie Atkins
Society
Are children's books the key to families integrating in Sweden?
National
'Sweden Dem protests cater to party's martyr image'
National
'Swedish research grants were fantastic, but now it's like Australia'
Society
Only in Sweden: The ten problems you'd never encounter elsewhere
National
Swedes stopped to take my picture, but didn't look me in the eyes
Business & Money
A swipe of the hand replaced cash and cards in Lund
YouTube
Features
Video: Oliver Gee finds out how to embrace The Swedish Hug
TT
National
Abba duo hints at reunion
Private
National
Flash mobs hug it out across Sweden
Stockholm School of Economics
Sponsored Article
Why a bachelor's degree is no longer enough
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 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

Blog Update: The Diplomatic Dispatch

28 October 15:16

The Green Growth Group Summit »

"Today on the 28 October in Brussels, a large group of key EU Ministers and business people, including UK Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Edward Davey, and Swedish Environment Minister Lena Ek, will meet to discuss green growth. They all have a stake in resolving a challenge which, although it is crucial..." READ »

718
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