We Are Sunshine

Pretanning, Marketing, Insurance for 2024

Monday, January 22nd, 2024

Happy New Year to you all!! Another Leap year is upon us — an extra day for sales! Tanning salons are in recovery after a slump last summer. The travel season seems to have improved for sunny destinations. Pretan season has started and JCTA’s new TikTok marketing campaign is in full swing thanks to funding from Devoted Creations. More on this later.

Covid is still with us, luckily mild cases so far. Since Covid started, we’ve had so much positive media on sunlight and vitamin D. More and more articles are coming out about how sunlight benefits the body as a whole and this goes beyond vitamin D. Benefits will outweigh the risk, so long as you don’t sunburn. There’s a better understanding of how a tan protects us from overexposure and any damage is repaired so long as we don’t sunburn. As we all know, the problem is not any/moderate exposure as the dermatologists suggest. New research over the last years is starting to show how the repair system works and the importance of having higher levels of vitamin D in the skin – natural production via UVB. Mother Nature got it right. This helps the immune system to repair any damage without any long-term effects. We’ve also seen how UVA exposure increases nitric oxide to help reduce cardiovascular disease. The dermatologists call nitric oxide a free radical which damages skin, this is how myopic they are; they’re not looking at the whole body. They don’t consider the benefits to other parts of the body. The general population is starting to see this and questioning sunscreen promoters. If you haven’t seen this already, the FDA is questioning and asking for more research on 8 ingredients that are being used in sunscreen as they may be carcinogenic in long term use and they’re showing up in the bloodstream. We’ve heard that in the next few years, oxybenzone will no longer be used.

One of the biggest problems our industry has faced is the negative media and everyone telling the public that any UV exposure is damage and that pretanning doesn’t work. Luckily, this media attention is now few and far between. We still have a lot of clients that disagree with this, but some have opted to pretan for a shorter period of time before going on a holiday. The problem with this is they’re only getting a minimum amount of protection or maybe nothing. From conversations I’ve had with salon owners, clients are only coming in a week or 2 weeks before a holiday. We need to get our clients to understand the important of pretanning a month before going on holiday or at least get them to do 10 sessions as the exposure schedule recommends. We need to get clients back doing 1 month of pretanning before they go on holiday. To follow sunbed exposure schedules that will give them the protection they need when they hit the high UV Index holiday areas – acclimatize their skin. Research (Kimball 2017) has shown a person after 4 weeks of sunbed use can handle 6 times the exposure without any adverse effects, sunburning being the biggest one. De Winter 2001 has also shown reduced risk of sunburning as well as DNA damage after creating a base tan from a sunbed.

This year the JCTA’s main focus for the Please Tan Responsibly Marketing Campaign is to educate Canadians on pretanning before a sunny vacation and how easy it is to get a basetan on TikTok. This year we hired a New York firm to find 100 Influencers (2 campaigns, 50 each) for TikTok and Instagram. Devoted Creations stepped up and funded finding the influencers. The first campaign has already started and we’re seeing influencers post coming online now and tagging @TanNationCanada, JCTA’s Consumer TikTok account. We continue with our Facebook carousel ad on Tan Nation, our consumer Facebook page.

We started the Google Ads Campaign this year in October, promoting pre-tanning for sunny vacations.


Traffic to the JCTA Consumer Website ( is seeing on average 300 Canadians a day visiting the website. We’ve reached 2.3 million Canadians with over 28,000 people going to the consumer website with both our Facebook and Google ads since October. Google ads are outperforming what they did last year for website visits and time spent on the website is 10 times what it is for Facebook clicks. Google ads are much better at getting the right person to the website and spending time on it. Remember every time a Canadian goes to the website, they see the closest 3 member salons near them. We now track which salons they’re clicking on. The chart below is the website traffic for October to January.

Are you having a problem getting insurance this year, has pricing gone up? We’ve heard from several salons, both nonmembers and members, that the insurance coverage is getting harder to find and further restrictions have been applied to the coverage. Since March of 2020 JCTA Member can get exclusive insurance coverage from Brokerlink out of Calgary. Insurance has now turned into a hard market, meaning the underwriters are tightening the coverage and making it harder to even get coverage, especially if you’ve had a claim. The JCTA has continued to work with Brokerlink over the past 4 years to continue to control pricing and get the best coverage at the same time. As the number of salons comes over to the program the more negotiating power we have – numbers count. To increase the numbers, we’re asking every salon to get a quote from Brokerlink Insurance by calling Kelly Guard at 1.833.920.5117 and asking for the JCTA Insurance Program. Or we can have someone contact you by phone and do a quote over the phone, takes 5 minutes. If it the same or better price, please go with the only insurance company that has a JCTA membership, Brokerlink Insurance. You can also go to the JCTA Salon Website at and click on the insurance tab – you don’t have to be a member to get a quote.

All the Best for 2024!!

Steve Gilroy, JCTA Executive Director and VP of Smart Tan Canada