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Leading UK model agencies sign up to ‘No Sunbed’ policy

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by Cancer Research UK | News

17 February 2012

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Ahead of London Fashion Week, leading model agencies sign groundbreaking ‘No Sunbed’ policy agreement as part of Cancer Research UK’s R UV UGLY? campaign after warnings on health and appearance

Young girls and guys looking to become the next Kate Moss or David Gandy, are being urged to stay away from sunbeds. In a groundbreaking act of unity, the UK’s leading model agencies have committed to a ‘No Sunbed’ policy in conjunction with Cancer Research UK’s new campaign, R UV UGLY?, which aims to raise awareness of the dangers of using sunbeds.

Directors of leading agencies, Storm, Elite, Next, Premier Model Management, Models 1, FM, Nevs, Oxygen, Union, First and D1 have all agreed to a zero tolerance policy on sunbed use for all models on their books or those wishing to join.

The ‘No Sunbed’ policy comes as a result of Cancer Research UK’s current R UV UGLY? campaign, which highlights the damage sunbeds can do to both appearance and health. This follows on from last year, when the charity worked with Nicola Roberts to help support new legislation in England and Wales preventing under 18s from using sunbeds.  

The move will ensure that any model who uses a sunbed will not be considered for representation by the agency.

Sarah Doukas, Managing Director of Storm Model Management, commented: “Storm Model Management is pleased to support Cancer Research UK’s R UV UGLY? campaign and the No Sunbed Policy for model agencies. Supporting this campaign makes perfect sense as the wellbeing of our models is of paramount importance and we take a serious approach to their health. 

“We do not advocate the use of sunbeds for any of our models, and recommend that they choose safer options if they require a tan – spray tans are easy to apply and can last a week.  It is well documented that UV from sunbeds can cause serious skin damage, especially in the under 35s.”

Michelangelo Chiacchio, the CEO of Elite Model Management London commented: “The welfare of our models is of the utmost importance to Elite Model Management; therefore we are very pleased to join forces with London’s leading model agencies and Cancer Research UK, to support a ‘No Sunbed’ policy. We hope that this will help to send out a strong message to young girls and guys, that sunbeds will have a negative impact on their appearance.

“We strive to support the health of our models and will never condone the use of sunbeds for any job; instead we will always try to arrange for a spray tan should it be necessary.”

Carole White, Co-Founder of Premier Model Management, echoed this view: “Premier Model Management is pleased to support Cancer Research UK’s R UV UGLY? campaign and the ‘No Sunbed’ policy for model agencies. We pride ourselves on taking care of our models’ welfare and strongly support the view that models should never use a sunbed. We stand shoulder-to-shoulder with all other leading model agencies and Cancer Research UK to say NO to sunbeds.”

Using a sunbed for the first time before the age of 35 increases the risk of malignant melanoma, the most serious form of skin cancer, by 75 per cent. 

Research has also shown that using a sunbed once a month or more could increase the risk of melanoma by more than 50 per cent. Melanoma incidence rates in Britain have more than quadrupled over the last 30 years. It is the second most common cancer amongst 15-34 year olds.

Chris Lunn, SunSmart campaign manager at Cancer Research UK, said: “We’re delighted that leading model agencies are backing our R UV UGLY? campaign.  Using sunbeds can make your skin coarse, leathery and wrinkly.  The UV rays from a sunbed can also damage the DNA in your skin.  Over time, this damage can build up and may lead to melanoma, the most serious type of skin cancer.  So, if you feel you must have a tan, it is safer to fake it.”  

Cancer Research UK has teamed up with sk:n for the R UV UGLY? campaign to offer the public ‘Two Free Skin Assessments’, that would normally cost £25 each, from now until the end of February 2012. By using the latest high-tech, specialist skin-scanning technology, the consultation will highlight the hidden damage lurking beneath the skin’s surface that is caused by overexposure to UV, both from sunbeds and the sun.

To book, call 0800 822 3037 quoting R UV UGLY?, text R UV UGLY? to 63757 (standard rates apply), or visit