FTC Concludes ITA Deceived Consumers
On May 19, 2010, the Federal Trade Commission ("FTC") approved a final settlement order against the Indoor Tanning Association ("ITA").
The original order had charged the ITA with exaggerating the benefits of indoor tanning and falsely denying that indoor tanning increased the risk of melanoma and other skin cancers.
ITA has agreed to a settlement that bars it from any further deception.
In March 2008, the FTC claimed that the ITA had launched a deceptive advertising campaign designed to portray indoor tanning as safe and beneficial. The approved settlement, which was reached after public comment was submitted, found that the ITA had made the following false claims:
- Indoor tanning is approved by the government.
- Indoor tanning is safer than tanning outdoors because the amount of ultraviolet light received when tanning is monitored and controlled.
- Research shows that vitamin D supplements may harm the body's ability to fight disease.
- A National Academy of Sciences study determined that ‘the risks of not getting enough ultraviolet light far outweigh the hypothetical risk of skin cancer.'
The final settlement also found that ITA failed to disclose material facts in its advertising. The FTC vote approving the final order was 4-0, with Commissioner Edith Ramirez not participating.
Over the last several years, AIM has been at the forefront of educating legislators across the country on the State and Federal level about the dangers of indoor tanning and urging them to support legislation to ban the sale of indoor UV tanning to minors under the age of 18. We believe the FTC's action takes us one step further toward this goal.