H&M defends bikini ad amid skin cancer worries

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

H&M defends bikini ad amid skin cancer worries

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.

The Local/og

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Swedish retailer H&M sees profits slump after Russia exit

Swedish fashion retailer H&M reported a sizeable drop in third-quarter profit on Thursday following its decision to leave the Russian market.

Swedish retailer H&M sees profits slump after Russia exit

The world’s number two clothing group is among a slew of Western companies that have exited Russia following Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

H&M paused all sales in the country in March and announced in July that it would wind down operations, although it would reopen stores for “a limited period of time” to offload its remaining inventory.

The company said Thursday its net profit fell to 531 million kronor ($47 million) in the third quarter, down 89 percent from the same period last year. “The third quarter has largely been impacted by our decision to pause sales and then wind down the business in Russia,” chief executive Helena Helmersson said in a statement.

The group said in its earnings statement that it would launch cost-cutting measures that would result in savings totalling two billion kronor.