In 2007/08, the Health Sponsorship Council (HSC) launched the Never Let Your Child Get Sunburnt campaign. The campaign targeted parents and caregivers and explained the link between sunburn and melanoma, with the overall aim of reducing sunburn among children. In March 2010, the HSC evaluated the effectiveness of its three-year campaign for New Zealand adults. A key measure was of awareness of the campaign and its messages.
This fact sheet covers the results on the impact of the campaign.
Skin cancers are the most common form of cancer in New Zealand. Every year more than 60,000 people are diagnosed with skin cancer. Out of this number over 2,000 people are diagnosed with melanoma skin cancer, the most serious type. Approximately 300 people die from melanoma skin cancer each year. The good news is that skin cancer is largely preventable. The best ways people can reduce their risk of developing skin cancer include protecting the skin from ultraviolet (UV) radiation from either the sun or sunbeds and by never getting sunburnt, especially under the age of 20 years.
All respondents were asked whether they had seen television advertising about safety in the sun. Those who said they did recall advertising were asked to describe what they had seen or heard.
Respondents were prompted with a description of the Never Let Your Child Get Sunburnt advertisement and asked whether they remembered having seen it. Those respondents who had seen the advertisement were asked what they thought it was telling them.
All the open-ended responses were recorded verbatim. Each recurring point or theme was then identified, with all answers falling sufficiently close to that point or theme being grouped together as a response code.
- Nearly half (48%) of respondents could describe an advertisement about sun safety that they had seen in the last three months.
- The most commonly described advertisement, by over one in three (37%) of those respondents who could recall one, was Never Let Your Child Get Sunburnt.
- Over three out of four (76%) respondents could recall seeing the Never Let Your Child Get Sunburnt advertisement when prompted with a description.
- The most common messages taken from the advertising related to the need to protect oneself or one’s child from the sun and the potential for sunburn at a young age to lead to cancer or problems later in life.