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Liverpool skin cancer campaigner challenges Ryanair boss over tanline ad campaign

12 months ago

Liverpool skin cancer campaigner challenges Ryanair boss over tanline ad campaign

A Liverpool skin cancer campaigner has challenged Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary after branding the airline’s latest advertising campaign “totally irresponsible“.

The summer ad, which has been appearing as a banner on Ryanair’s website, shows a holidaymaker with the sunburnt outline of a camera around his neck and the tagline ‘Europe’s number one tanline – fly from £29.99’.

But Diane Cannon, who works with charity Melanoma UK, says that “feels like a slap in face” after all their efforts in spreading the message of sun safety.

“It should really say ‘die from £29.99’ because to me they’re encouraging people to put themselves and their health at risk with this advert,” said Diane.

“I know in their eyes it’s probably just a bit of fun, but I’ve seen the repercussions of sun damage myself and in my family and it’s not fun to have to go through skin cancer treatment and it’s not fun to lose someone.”

Here is the ad:

Ryanair tanline advertising campaign

Diane’s niece Claire, a mum-of-two, died in 2013 aged just 38. A mole on her back was diagnosed as melanoma and despite surgery to remove it, and being given the all clear by the hospital after treatment, a decade later she found a lump under her arm. It was stage 4 malignant melanoma, and tumours had spread to her lung and brain.

Diane has also had ongoing treatment herself for skin cancer lesions, including having a basal cell carcinoma on the side of her nose cut out last November.

“This is all as a result of using sunbeds and not taking enough precautions in the sun more than 30 years ago,” said Diane. “I’m 56 now, I’ve not used sunbeds for as long as I can remember and I’m always spf50-ed up, but they’re still finding skin cancer on me from years and years ago. 

“That’s why it makes me so annoyed to have a company like Ryanair telling people it’s OK to be sunburnt.

“This isn’t me bashing Ryanair, it’s about me saying, ‘stop and think before you put something like that out’ and at least get a skin cancer charity or expert to look at the messaging and decide ‘is that acceptable?’ because it isn’t.

“You can sell holidays without it being at the expense of people’s health so let’s use a bit of common sense.”

Diane with niece Claire

Diane, who lives in south Liverpool, has challenged Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary to work with Melanoma UK to spread positive awareness around sun safety.

“We all feel good when the sun’s shining, but you’ve got be responsible, more educated and don’t put yourself at risk. People sometimes think everyone knows the basics of what to pack when they go on holiday, the sunscreen to use and how often they should be putting it on, but they don’t.

“I’m saying to Ryanair, let’s work together even if it’s just to get some sun safety tips on your website – let us help educate your customers.”

Melanoma UK succeeded in getting supermarket giant Waitrose to edit its Christmas advert last year which originally showed two farmers comparing tan lines after it criticised the campaign as “highly insensitive.”

Now they want Ryanair to listen and change too.

“All we want is for them to say ‘we get it’ and hopefully work with Melanoma UK to put something on their website that explains why you should be wearing sunscreen and why you shouldn’t be going away on your holidays without protecting yourself.

“Ryanair has a massive platform and they could do so much good just by not being irresponsible with their image choice.”



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