Waitrose changes Christmas advert after it was criticised for ‘glorifying’ sun tans

Waitrose has updated its Christmas advert for this year to remove a clip that showed two farmers comparing their tans after it was criticised by a skincare charity.

The advert, which premiered on 16 November, followed farmers across the year as they grow and harvest food for Christmas.

The previous version of the advert showed two farmers driving past each other on their tractors, each of them lifting their sleeves to show off the tan on their arms.

The advert received criticism from skin cancer charity Melanoma UK, which said the scene glorified sun tans and failed to highlight the dangers of sun exposure.

The charity wrote on Twitter: “Waitrose can do better than this.”

“Many organisations have used examples of tanning in their advertising. Unless they are doing this responsibly and warning of the dangers of overexposure to the sun, then they need to stop it.”

The short scene has now been cut from the advert days after Waitrose issued an apology.

A spokesperson for the supermarket said: “Our ad celebrates the care and effort that our Partners and real farmers – who work in all weathers – put in to make sure our customers have what they need for Christmas.

“While we included some light-hearted and ‘true to life’ moments, we’ve listened to the comments made about the serious message of sun safety and will be using an updated version of the ad to address these concerns.”

One woman who has melanoma commented on Waitrose’s Facebook page that she found it “absolutely astonishing that a company like yourselves should be showing farmers glorifying in their sun tans”.

“This is a kick in the teeth for all melanoma patients and for all the organisations trying to educate everyone into the dangers of sun tans. What on earth were you thinking to include this in a Christmas advert? Words fail me,” she said.

According to Melanoma UK, there are around 16,700 new cases of the disease diagnosed in the UK every year. It is the fifth most common cancer in the UK and accounts for around four per cent of all new cancer cases.