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Men Not Getting the Message About Sunscreen

Posted: May 30, 2006
American males aren't getting or heeding warnings on sun protection, researchers report, with the bulk of magazine ads for sunscreen appearing in publications aimed at women, not men.

A new U.S. study shows that 77% of the 783 sunscreen ads reviewed were published in women's magazines.

Researchers reviewed 579 magazines -- all May to September issues from 1997 to 2002 for 24 different publications.

While the average was about four ads for sunscreen per women's magazine, the average was less than one in each issue of parenting and family magazines. The average in outdoor and recreation magazines typically read by men was less than one per six issues.

"There's a huge opportunity to reach an untapped market," Alan Geller, an associate professor of research with the Boston University School of Medicine, said in a prepared statement. The ads should also better explain how to properly use sunscreen and other sun-care products, he said, as none of the ads contained the recommended guidelines for appropriate use of sunscreen.