Whilst it’s still early days as yet, 2014 is already revving up to be an action packed year for the UK’s indoor tanning industry. A taste of some of the highlights since the beginning of the year includes the potential extension of existing legislation in England for indoor tanning; enhanced dialogue with the Press Complaints Commission over journalistic bias and inaccurate reporting in the UK media; and organising a UK delegation to a new, some may say revived, European trade fair – a great indicator that the European indoor tanning market is really picking up confidence!
This confidence is already being felt in the UK, with an improved economic forecast and an appetite for new technology and products causing appointment diaries across the sales team to fill up nicely. Not being one to count my chickens before they’ve hatched, I will of course reserve judgement on the viability of this welcomed confidence boost when appointments turn into orders.
So, I guess it is with significant frustration I find myself having to reconcile that at a time when our industry is finally gaining some recognition for its professionalism (from some quarters at least), there are still those who appear to have made it their mission in life to score points against the tanning bed industry, even when the point attempting to be scored flies in the face of logic and progress.
A classic example presented itself at a recent meeting of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Skin (APPGS) Advisory Group, which I was invited to attend as Chairman of the UK’s Sunbed Association. This group has lobbied to extend the scope of the current legislation that exists for indoor tanning in England, primarily to bring it in line with Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The provision and display of advice and information by all salons about responsible use of tanning beds is a key objective, which we are generally happy with (it’s the content and format of the information that we are challenging).
Therefore, it is logical that properly trained staff is the best route to ensuring that the appropriate questions are asked of and correct information provided to tanning bed users. So it was in a state of utter incredulity that I listened to a member of the APPGS meeting gleefully advise the group that their own organisation had successfully lobbied the UK’s leading educator for the beauty market to remove UV training from all their courses. In the UK, there are a significant number of beauty salons that offer tanning beds as part of their service menu – so how on earth could this possibly be considered progress?
Whilst this announcement was a surprise, our subsequent presentation to the meeting featured heavily on the inaccurate information that pervades the media perpetuated by the anti-tanning lobby, with unequivocal evidence to support our claims. Coupled with the tanning industry’s recognition of the need for and strong commitment to good training and customer care, there can be little doubt that the inflated claim of victory over the reduction in access to training opportunities had the wind taken out of its sails.
Suffice to say, as a person whose glass is always “half full,” I see the imminent absence of UV training for beauty therapists as a green light for us to increase the sales of our own training opportunities.
In the tanning industry since 1982, Gary is Managing Director of the UK subsidiary of Ergoline, and runs Ergoline Plus, the exclusive distributor for a wide range of sunless products and spray systems. He is also Chairman of the Media Committee for the UK’s Sunbed Association & a European Sunlight Association member.
Copyright 2020 ist Magazine