According to an article in The Daily Texan, law student Emily Prewett, has filed a complaint with the Texas Attorney General against the company Darque Tan because of their misleading and irresponsible ads. One of their television commercial begins with a man in white lab coat saying, “Science has discovered that UVB from tanning converts cholesterol into Vitamin D.” Then the narrator says, “Mmm yeah. Vitamin D-licious. Come get yours with a free week of level 1 tanning.” The TV ad and more details, inside…
In another advertisement a man in a lab coat says, “Getting the Vitamin D you need has never been easier. To get you 4000 IU, it takes 20 cans of sardines – Mmm good – or 40 glasses of milk, if you tolerate lactose. Better yet, get a full 4000 IU of Vitamin D in just five minutes in a tanning bed at Darque Tan.” Darque Tan seems to want us to believe we would drop dead from a Vitamin D deficiency unless we nourish our bodies with their life giving tanning beds.
Prewett is concerned because the ads portray tanning as a health benefit with no risks. “I don’t have an issue with the company, I just have in issue with that particular advertising campaign,” said Prewett. “I think that’s the wrong message to be sending potential customers. And it’s prohibited for a reason, and it’s because there are so many health studies that link cancer and other risks to UV exposure.”
Prewett’s is not the first complaint lodged against Darque Tan’s advertising campaign. In fact, Darque Tan’s health claims are in clear violation of Texas’ health and safety code which states, “A tanning facility operator may not claim or distribute promotional materials that claim using a tanning device is safe or free from risk or that using a tanning device will result in medical or health benefits.” Doug McBride of Texas Department of State Health Services said, “They cannot make that claim legally. They cannot make any health claim.”
There is little doubt that prolonged UV exposure carries significant risks whether it be from the sun or tanning beds. We agree with Emily that these advertisements are composed of 1 part fact per one hundred parts fiction. With tanning or any product it is irresponsible and dangerous to circulate advertisements that exaggerate or invent health benefits and ignore all of the health risks. Obviously advertisements are going to be biased but there has to be a line that should not be crossed to help up us stay safe. We tip our sun visors to you, Emily.
Darque Tan ads elicit complaint from law student [The Daily Texan] (Thanks to Brad for sending this in!)