In May, we lodged a complaint with the Commerce Commission about health claims being made by some sunbed operators. Twelve operators in our mystery shop of the industry displayed the “Light is Life” poster, which claimed tanning is a natural process and UV exposure, in moderation, is a necessary part of human life.
The poster also claimed sunbeds are “a great way to get your controlled dose of UVB/vitamin D”.
The commission investigated our complaint and has concluded the poster contains statements that may mislead consumers about the benefits of sunbed use and this may be a breach of the Fair Trading Act. It also advised some of the claims being made would need to be substantiated under the Act.
Beta Life International (previously Super Tan), the company that produced the poster, has contacted operators supplied with the poster and asked them to take it down.
This isn’t the first time sunbed operators have been put on notice about making health claims. In 2011, the commission cautioned about 280 sunbed operators and distributors on the risks of making false or misleading claims regarding the health benefits of sunbed use.