Le Tan gets burned over ‘Pasty White Skin’ campaign

PastySkincare products manufacturer Le Tan has been forced to withdraw a number of radio commercials in which the male announcer tells the audience ‘pasty white skin is never a good look’ and ‘pasty white skin is not making a comeback’.

The radio commercials last week sparked a social media backlash with more than 1500 people signing a petition to withdraw the campaign on the grounds it was exploiting women’s insecurity .

As of late Friday, Le Tan apologised for the campaign posting on their Facebook wall: “After carefully considering all the feedback, and given it was never our intent to cause offence, we have removed the radio ads.”

Click to enlarge.

Click to enlarge.

Petition organiser Georgina Bitcon told Mumbrella that she set up the petition because she was concerned about the message of the campaign.

“There were a lot of people who were saying the damaging effect of this campaign was concerning to them,” said Bitcon. “Le Tan were obviously trying to say women feel bad about their pasty white skin and we’ve got a solution but I think they went around it the wrong way.”

Terry Slevin, national chairman of the Cancer Council’s skin cancer committee said he was disappointed with campaign and pleased to see it withdrawn.

“The thing that struck me is that I thought Le Tan was in the sun protection game and they have a serious range of sunscreen products,” said Slevin.

“For them to be sending a message like that, it both not good for public health, or I wouldn’t have thought it was wise marketing for their other products, but I guess that’s a decision for them to make.”

Bitcon said she was pleased with the victory but would also like to see Le Tan do more. “It is a victory in that they are saying people have been offended and that’s not ok,” she said.

“But there are further steps Le Tan could take given the message that has been put out. I would like to see them put out a more powerful statement about why women are beautiful regardless of their skin colour.”

Le Tan said it that it no further comment to make on the campaign but a spokesperson sought to clarify that this was the first time it had run commercials during the winter.

Nic Christensen 


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