H&M slammed by skin cancer doctors for 'alarming' use of deeply tanned model in swimwear campaign
14:33 GMT, 9 May 2012
Retail giant H&M has been slammed by cancer experts after its latest swimwear campaign used a deeply tanned model.
The adverts, seen in the UK, show very heavily tanned model Isabeli Fontana wearing a range of swimwear.
The model’s deeply bronzed figure has appeared on billboards in Europe and on the firm’s website, including the British version.
Real or fake Brazilian model Isabeli Fontana sports a deep tan as she models H&M's new swimwear collection – but the store has attracted criticism for promoting unhealthy tanning habits
Irresponsible The images, on the store's website and used in promotional material in the UK and abroad, are said by health chiefs to be 'alarming'
It is not immediately clear how the 28-year-old Brazilian model has achieved the tan, leaving visitors to the site unsure whether she is wearing fake tan in the ads or whether she has achieved the deep tan from lying in the sun.
Dr Ralph Braun, from the Early Skin Cancer Centre at Zurich University Hospital, said: 'I find this advertisement very alarming and borderline.
'Many people, especially the young, will try to emulate this and will try to be just as brown, although with some skin types this is just not possible.'
Pale and interesting: H&M say they chose Isabeli Fontana for her dark skintone, but she has been photographed on previous occasions with a much lighter skintone
Swiss Cancer League spokeswoman Cornelia Egli said: 'This completely contradicts our advertising efforts.'
H&M have defended the campaign to the Swiss press by saying they chose a model with darker skin in order to best show the strong colours on sale this season.
The Swedish firm said Fontana, the model featured in the controversial campaign, has naturally dark skin.
However, pictures previously published of the other model in former campaigns show her with a light skin tone.