22 Aug 2011

Sunbed operators warned against misleading claims

6:45 pm on 22 August 2011

Sunbed operators have been warned against making misleading claims about the benefits of a sunbed tan.

The Commerce Commission has written to 280 sunbed operators and providers telling them to accurately represent the risks and benefits of such tanning.

The commission says it has taken action after receiving complaints about the industry's practices from the the Cancer Society and Consumer New Zealand.

Spokesperson Kate Morrison says some sunbed operators have been making misleading claims, including suggesting that a sunbed tan protects against sunburn.

Ms Morrison says the commission is prepared to enforce its message if operators ignore it and companies will face a hefty fine if they breach the Fair Trading Act.

The Indoor Tanning Association says operators should be able to advertise the benefits of sunbeds if they can back them up with evidence.