Tanning website revealed as hoax

Sunny-3 hoax sees skin cancer charity trick tanners with ‘miracle’ cream

Sunny-3, a hoax tanning cream claiming to ‘triple the power of the sun’, has fooled over 14,000 people who have tried to buy it – only to discover that it has been developed by a skincare charity to raise awareness of associated dangers.

Sunny-3’s hoax website set up by a skin charity to raise awareness of the dangers of tanning

Thousands of people have logged onto Sunny-3’s spoof website and tried to buy it since it was launched last week – only to receive an email outlining skin cancer information and revealing the prank.

The trick was designed to highlight the damaging and life-threatening effects of continued sun tanning.

The website lures potential customers by claiming that the cream has taken off in Sweden where people are ‘hosting night tanning parties’.

Customers can also view false videos promoting the products, which are priced at £7.99 or £12.99. Customers are also led into believing that they can order a free sample.

Charity Skcin and advertising firm McCann Worldgroup wanted to raise awareness of soaring rates of the killer – especially in the young, as skin cancer numbers have doubled in the past ten years.

  1. #1 by J. O'Brien on August 14, 2011 - 11:32 pm

    Brilliant idea, which I’d thought of it. Those 14,000 might gain some wisdom.

  2. #2 by hein vandenbergh on August 15, 2011 - 1:25 am

    Sad when we have to resort to such dubious tactics. May backfire when something legit comes out. Honesty remains the best policy.

  3. #3 by hein vandenbergh on August 15, 2011 - 1:29 am

    Reading the first comment, I must disagree: such promotional ‘tone’ still implies that a tan is something to have. Sure, it may catch just those who think so, but what about the casual scanner?

    It may also breed cynicism, which we can ill afford.

  4. #4 by Alison Phillips on August 18, 2011 - 2:50 pm

    Reminds me of the UK Dermatologists’ ‘Ultimate Skincare’ campaign – a luxurious looking pot of what would normally be an expensive moisturiser, marketed as “the best skincare product available (or similar)” – but empty, with a mirror in the base of the lid – message being, the best thing for your skin is your own observation!

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