The Skin Cancer Foundation filed a formal complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) on Friday, Jan. 18, asking the FTC to investigate MTV's “Jersey Shore” television series for promoting “hazardous” behaviors. The Foundation wants the FTC to hold MTV accountable for promoting “cancer-causing behavior” via “Jersey Shore’s” mantra of “Gym, Tan, Laundry.”
The complaint alleges that MTV used advertising, promotion and merchandising to glamorize and endorse excessive tanning without disclosing the related health risks. “MTV is deceptively influencing viewers to engage in a cancer-causing activity in violation of Section 5 of the FTC Act,” the complaint claims. The Foundation is demanding that MTV include a warning about the risks of skin cancer with the show and its advertising, promotion and merchandising.
Acknowledging that the “Jersey Shore” series has ended, the Foundation states that the show will live on through spin-offs and repeats, continuing to expose an impressionable audience to disturbing behaviors with no disclaimer. This is not the Foundation’s first attempt to educate those associated with “Jersey Shore.” In February 2010 the Foundation staged an intervention that aired nationally on the television show Extra, which can be viewed HERE.
When little headway was made via the 2010 intervention, the Foundation audited season three of “Jersey Shore.” The Foundation identified 186 visual or verbal references to tanning, which prompted the Foundation to initiate a September 2012 meeting with MTV executives, where the organization requested that MTV include a warning with each episode and in conjunction with the sale of items and activities that promote tanning. MTV refused, prompting the Foundation to file a formal complaint with the FTC.
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