Exposure to the ‘Dark Side of Tanning’ skin cancer prevention mass media campaign and its association with tanning attitudes in New South Wales, Australia
Melanoma is the most common cancer among 15- to 29-year-olds in Australia, with rates increasing with age. The ‘Dark Side of Tanning’ (DSOT) mass media campaign was developed in 2007 to influence attitudes related to tanning.
This study aimed to assess recall and impact of the DSOT campaign. Data were collected using online surveys of 13- to 44-year-olds living in New South Wales in the summer months of 2007–2010 (n = 7490).
Regression models were used to determine predictors of recall of DSOT and to investigate associations between exposure to the campaign and tanning attitudes. The campaign achieved consistently high recall (unprompted recall 42–53% during campaign periods; prompted recall 76–84%).
Those who recalled DSOT advertisements had a higher likelihood of reporting negative tanning attitudes compared with those who reported no recall, after adjusting for other factors (odds ratio [OR] 1.13, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.01–1.27 for unprompted recall; OR 1.19, 95% CI 1.03–1.36 for prompted recall).
Being interviewed in later campaign years was also a significant predictor of negative tanning attitudes (e.g. fourth year of campaign versus first year: OR 1.24, 95% CI 1.01–1.53). These results suggest that mass media campaigns have potential to influence tanning-related attitudes and could play an important role in skin cancer prevention.