Press Centre

Don't Get Burnt!

  • Asda teams up with British Skin Foundation to launch a suncare campaign to keep customers protected for less
  • Asda calls on Government to slash the VAT from sun care
  • Research reveals 56% of Brits are at risk of skin cancer this summer

Today, Asda supermarket is launching a brand new campaign, “Don’t Get Burnt”, which will raise awareness of the importance of sun protection, the health risks associated with UV radiation from the sun and also challenge the Government to drive down the price of sun protection products.

A recent survey from the supermarket reveals that a worrying 57% of Brits could be wearing out of date sunscreen and a further 56% admitted they don’t apply sunscreen frequently enough, exposing themselves to life-threatening sun damage. Every year, over 100,000 people in the UK are diagnosed with skin cancer and over 2,500 of those people lose their life as a result. Sun exposure is the main preventable cause of skin cancer. With 60% of people in the UK stating they find sun protection products overpriced, Asda wants to encourage the nation to stay safe, without burning money.

Further findings reveal that over a quarter (26%) of those surveyed use old sunscreen, purchased over two years ago, which offers a fraction of the intended sun protection compared to when originally bought. Plus a shocking 9% of Brits admitted they never apply sun protection, exposing themselves to dangerous UV rays and putting themselves at high risk of developing skin cancer.

Asda is aware that shoppers are charged over the odds for sun care products and is committed to keeping customers protected for less. The supermarket offers optimum UVA protection, in line with the Boots five star rating system, up to SPF 50+, from just £3.50, a whopping 243% cheaper than some high street own brand alternatives. As the peak holiday season approaches many high street retailers will be offering half price deals on suncare lotions and sprays, but Asda remains by far the cheapest all year round keeping customers safe in the sun without scorching prices.

Under current UK tax law, Brits are paying a 20% VAT on sunscreen as it is deemed a ‘luxury’ item, rather than an essential health product. Almost two thirds of Brits (61%) believe this tax should be removed. As part of the ’Don’t Get Burnt’ campaign, Asda will lobby the government to slash the VAT charges on sunscreen. Asda is today launching a dedicated e-petition for customers to sign in support of the supermarket’s attempt to reduce or even diminish this unfair tax charge.

Media medic, Dr Dawn Harper who is supporting Asda’s campaign commented: "As the sun comes out everyone is keen to enjoy the fun that comes with it. However, Brits need to take sun protection seriously. Malignant melanoma is the fastest rising common cancer in the UK and is particularly high in younger people.

“Shockingly, allowing your child to play in the sun unprotected is a much higher risk than allowing them to smoke a cigarette – just ten minutes in strong sun can be all it takes for the sun’s UVB rays to burn the skin. Just one episode of sun burn can trigger melanoma.

“Regular use of sunscreen in the first 18 years of life can reduce the lifetime risk of non-melanoma skin cancers by 80%. Sunburn in childhood is believed to be a primary cause of melanoma, so we are asking Brits to stay safe and slap on a capful.”

British Skin Foundation spokesperson, Hermione Lawson added: “By the end of this summer, around 1250 people in the UK will die from skin cancer. We support Asda’s ’Don’t Get Burnt’ campaign to highlight the serious health risks posed from sun damage. What people often don’t realise is that skin cancer is largely a preventable disease, and along with clothing and shade, high factor sunscreen can help protect the skin from the harmful effects of the sun.”

Sarah Anderson, suncare buyer for Asda added: “Our customers should not compromise their family’s health because of a price tag. As part of our campaign we are committed to keep our suncare range affordable and to help educate customers about the serious effects of sun damage. We are urging our customers to step forward and help us to raise the issue with the Government and lower the costs even further.”

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Notes to Editors

  • To sign the e-petition and for further information and latest news from the campaign please visit
  • All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2144 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 11th-13th March 2013. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all UK adults (aged 18+).
Posted in Press Centre on 15 May 2013