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For the Public

Past Campaigns

Past campaign activities:

A survey carried out to guide the Sun Awareness campaign in its infancy confirmed that there was a high level of confusion over skin cancer risk in relation to skin type. It was recognised that skin cancer messaging has traditionally adopted a ‘one size fits all’ approach and a core element of the Sun Awareness campaign, therefore, has been to ensure that prevention messaging more specifically targets different skin types and at risk groups.

Sun Awareness has historically promoted both primary prevention and early detection of skin cancer, through the following means:

• Posters and leaflets available free of charge throughout the UK:

In 2013 the BAD sent out over 137,024 posters/leaflets to organisations including hospitals, doctors surgeries, private clinics, schools, colleges, libraries, charities, educational establishments, commerical businesses, the emergency services and several government bodies.

• ‘Mole checks’ and sun awareness events at high profile events, such as BBC Gardeners’ World, T4 on the Beach and Badminton Horse Trials, as well as at regional events in conjunction with local NHS dermatology departments. From 2008-9 the BAD checked over 2,500 people at such events. In 2011 our 'in-house' events were supported by skincare brand La Roche Posay and enabled us to see over 1,000 people at 4 events around the country in the first ever skin cancer awareness roadshow. Thank you to continued support from La Roche-Posay, the Mole and Sun Advice roadshow visited 5 high profile national events in 2013, making it the biggest skin cancer awareness roadshow to date in the UK. We were able to give inidividual mole-check demonstrations to more than 1,300 people and give five times that many people free sunscreen and advice.

• Patient ambassadors; we have amazing patient supporters who help spread our messages in both regional and national media.

• Media releases, including survey data, throughout the summer.

The BAD has led on a number of key shifts in prevention messaging which have since been adopted by other organisations, namely the focus on sunburn rather than sun exposure generally, the focus on education around skin types rather than generic messaging, the need to incorporate vitamin D advice in skin cancer prevention campaigns and the change of the recommended minimum SPF from 15 to 30.

The Sun Awareness campaign does not receive any government funding. However, every year the campaign generates extensive media coverage, while over 2,000 organisations use our printed materials for in-house education.

Our contribution to the sunbeds discussion has helped to raise awareness of the dangers of sunbeds and contributed towards the introduce of UK-wide legislation banning under 18s from using sunbeds.

Please note that Sun Awareness Week is a trademarked campaign of the BAD, so please do get in touch if you would like to publicise an event using the campaign name. We would love for you to get involved, but need to know the details of your event or promotion in advance. We do not endorse products but are happy to work with companies who wish to support the Sun Awareness campaign.

Ultimate Skincare – the 2010 early detection campaign


Ultimate Skincare (US) was launched in 2010 as the UK’s first national mass-media campaign dedicated solely to promoting the early detection of skin cancer. Research shows that skin cancer detection is often delayed because people fail to check their skin regularly, they don’t know what to check for and they are reluctant to seek medical advice. As the experts in diagnosing and treating skin cancer, the British Association of Dermatologists felt there was a clear need for a campaign dedicated solely to early detection.

Kindred, a communications agency known for its strengths in message-based marketing, generously offered to devise and run the campaign for us on a pro bono basis, which was gratefully received as the campaign receives no external funding. Thus was born ‘Ultimate Skincare’, which borrows the language and imagery of the beauty industry to reach our initial target audience, UK women. The reason we chose the beauty theme is that, according to our initial research, the vast majority of people cite issues like spots, white teeth, unwanted body hair and wrinkles as more important to them than changes to their skin that could indicate skin cancer.

The first stage of the campaign was to create a new beauty brand – ‘Ultimate Skincare’. The product appears to be a high-end beauty cream and promises “In this little jar is all you need to keep your skin looking beautiful forever. Years of research have made Ultimate skincare the only beauty regime that guarantees beautiful healthy skin”. Once the lid is removed, the pot contains only a mirror and instructions for the careful checking of skin. Having captured people’s attention with the lure of the new ‘must have’ beauty product, labelled the single best thing you can do for your skin, people were left with advice around how to check their skin, and what to do if they find something of concern.

The team secured House of Fraser Oxford Street as a campaign partner, allowing us to showcase the product and campaign, with a concession stand in the beauty hall of their busy flagship store in London for a week in June.

With the help of TV personality, Sarah Cawood, we held a photocall at the store, creating a buzz around the concession launch.

Everyone passing by the concession throughout the week was able to speak to Ultimate Skincare staff who talked them through the product and the importance of checking their skin regularly for changes. Over the seven-day period we spoke to more than 1,400 people in total.

Ahead of the House of Fraser launch, the team also devised a series of adverts for Ultimate Skincare which include billboards, press ads and a film advert.

Advertising director Wayne Holloway, known for his work on campaigns for global brands like Adidas, Playstation, FA Cup and The Ashes Cricket, agreed to direct the film shoot free of charge at the salubrious Blakes Hotel in London. Top photographer Cody Burridge also agreed to waive his fee and took all the still images needed to create print versions of the ad.

We were also extremely fortunate to obtain eleven 20ft by 10ft digital poster sites across London which displayed two versions of the ad over a two-week period. The 11 outdoor digital poster sites have a combined OTS (opportunities to see) figure of approximately 3.5 million. Donated space was also secured in September’s issue of Glamour magazine, with a full-page colour advert, which has a readership of more than two million.

Additionally, the Ultimate Skincare film has been viewed more than 2,200 times on YouTube. The advert has also been shown at four London cinemas, over a two-week period, and on TV.

In 2010, we carried out a public survey of 2,000 people to both guide the campaign and create a news story. This highlighted how many people in UK are failing to check their skin for early signs of skin cancer. The story was supported by interviews with dermatologists and our amazing patient ambassadors. This has generated numerous pieces of coverage to date, including Daily Express, ITV, Northern Echo, Yorkshire Evening Post, Closer and My Weekly magazines, as well as coverage on blogs and Twitter from active beauty and health journalists.

But this is just the beginning of our media work. Due to the increased lack of awareness amongst men and young people, reaching these audiences will be a focus in the future.

Sarah Cawood and Sean Lock, who have had personal experience of skin cancer, are celebrity ambassadors for the camapign. Further activities are planned for the remainder of the year, before the campaign is expanded to embrace a wider audience in 2011.

As well as skin cancer prevention and sun safety advice, both campaigns focus on 'early detection', and the importance of checking your moles, using the following ABCD E-asy rules. There are three types of skin cancer, and all look different. The following ABCD-Easy rules show you a few changes that might indicate a 'melanoma', which is the deadliest form of skin cancer. As skin cancers vary, you should tell your doctor about any changes to your skin, even if they are not similar to those mentioned here.

Remember - if in doubt, check it out! If your GP is concerned about your skin, make sure you see a Consultant Dermatologist, the most expert person to diagnose a skin cancer. Your GP can refer you via the NHS.

Asymmetry - the two halves of the area may differ in shape

Border - the edges of the area may be irregular or blurred, and sometimes show notches

Colour - this may be uneven. Different shades of black, brown and pink may be seen

Diameter - most melanomas are at least 6mm in diameter. Report any change in size, shape or diameter to your doctor

Expert - if in doubt, check it out! If your GP is concerned about your skin, make sure you see a Consultant Dermatologist, the most expert person to diagnose a skin cancer. Your GP can refer you via the NHS 

The World UV app is here and it’s free!


The World UV App has been created by the British Association of Dermatologists in partnership with the Met Office to provide you a free daily UV forecast for over 10,000 locations worldwide.

Available for i-phone and android smart phone users this is the first free app to let you see what the peak UV is virtually anywhere in the world, and to give handy advice - according to your skin type – on type of sun protection needed. For most skin types this will include: spending some time in the shade between 11am and 3pm, wearing a sunscreen with SPF30 (or more) and good UVA protection, and making use of clothing such as a long sleeved shirt and a wide-brimmed hat. The World UV App will help you to better understand what type of skin you have and how well it copes in the sun.
The app can be downloaded completely free of charge for i-phone users from the i-tunes app store and for android smart phone users Google Play


• Daily peak UV forecasts – which tell you the maximum strength of the sun for that day

• In built geo-location to pin point your location, and tell you how the strong the sun is wherever you are in the world (you will need to have access to wifi or be in 3G range)

• Find out what steps you need to take to protect yourself from the risks of sunburn and sun damage

• Search function so you can find out the UV level in thousands of other locations across the UK and abroad – so if you are going on holiday you can see how strong the sun is at your destination

• Information about individual skin types (from very pale skin to naturally brown or black skin), and what this means in terms of the risks different UV levels pose to your skin type

• Top tips on sun protection, and what to look for in a sunscreen

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