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Leading UK Model Agencies Sign No Sunbed Policy

Ahead of London Fashion Week, leading model agencies signed a 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 tanning beds. 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 tanning beds.

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 tanning bed 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 tanning bed 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 tanning bed for the first time before the age of 35 increases the risk of malignant melanoma, the most serious form of skin cancer, by 75%.

Research has also shown that using a tanning bed once a month or more could increase the risk of melanoma by more than 50%. 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.”