TO MEN AND WOMEN – Do you recognise these Ads?

Did you use a SUNBED/or visit TANNING
PARLOURS in-between 1978-2000?

Perhaps you worked in the sunbed industry, or know someone who did?

Larger ads

The first year of my history PhD is almost over, so now I have to collect ‘real data’ for my second year at Warwick . Consequently, I have 3 aims for this very short post.

1. I’m looking for participants to complete my online survey – mainly from those who used sunbeds between 1978-2000, AND hopefully in/or from the outskirts of Liverpool/Mersey.

2. To find participants who are interested or happy to be interviewed (again, I’m looking for Men and women who used sunbeds between 1978-2000 in Mersey/Liverpool).

3. To sneakily see if ANYONE has any old adverts/manufacturing guidebooks or photos (ANY material) related to sunbeds, which for decades has been abandoned in their loft/cellar or the unexplored depths under the kitchen counter, etc!

Please share or forward this post link to others/friends/family who may be interested. 

Now I’ll provide a little bit of context and links/information for each.

1. The Online Survey

In the UK, sunbeds first appeared in 1978, and were advertised in newspapers and magazines. A large part of my research evaluates these advertisements from the 1980s and 1990s. My research explores indoor tanning devices (used in private households) and ‘tanning parlours’ (located in public spaces, such as on the high street, or in gyms and leisure centres). Liverpool is my main case study. 

What is the purpose of this survey?

I have collected information on where sunbeds initially appeared; who they were manufactured by; who the adverts targeted, and finally, how sunbeds were marketed to the public. This survey aims to improve my understanding about the industry, and to find participants to interview. Interviews will provide more intricate details about sunbed consumption from within both household and public environments.

The SUPER QUICK questionnaire will require approximately 5 minutes to complete.

2. Interviews

Aka THE most EXCITING part of my research!

I am looking for anyone interested in sharing their experiences or knowledge related to the sunbed industry since 1978 (especially within Liverpool). I would love to interview you or to hear from you by e-mail or phone.

WHO? This can include sunbed users, manufacturers and sellers. But is not limited to individuals or groups in the medical profession, public health or the media who became involved in sunbed related matters.

WHAT HAPPENS IF I’M HAPPY TO BE INTERVIEWED? I will follow up and provide a general outline of the interview questions before the interview. These questions surround topics about who you are; where you used sunbeds; the advertising and commercial strategies of the industry; the changes in technology over time; your social-cultural experiences and associations linked to indoor tanning, and possibly the changing perception towards sunbeds since the 1980s – whether this is a view from other friends and family, or encouraged by medical circles, or even portrayals from the media!

I must reassure that these questions are just rough guidelines to help prompt responses. If you have any elaborate answers or examples/personal anecdotes, or even anecdotes of others, you would be l free to discuss as much as you like – please do not feel restricted to answering these questions only.

If you have questions, or know anyone who may be interested please forward this post OR contact me via –  all the data will be held as confidential and will not be distributed or sold to others.

(Also within the interview process, I can provide visual stimulants, such as advertisements of brands you may be familiar with – but if you remember any or have any please feel comfortable to suggest, bring or provide any other advertising material/manufacturing handbooks/photographs or images of the machines.)

3. Advertising material/Objects/Machines

Finally, if you have old advertising posters/photos/leaflets/manufacturing handbooks/old machines etc. (from 1978-2010)? I would love to see them, please do get in touch.

But if you’re struggling for time any quick photos attached in an email would be great (especially if provided with anecdotes/contextual information, but not to worry if not).

Thank you!

Extra Information related to the research project:

1. The project is entitled ‘Advertising, Stereotypes and Health Advice: Understanding Sunbed Consumption in Contemporary Britain, 1978-2016’;
2. This research is being conducted by Fabiola Creed, ( in support of her studies for an PhD at the University of Warwick, and this research is funded by the Wellcome Trust.


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