Raising the Flag to Skin Cancer


Cancer-fighting nonprofit German Cancer Aid highlights the risk of getting melanomas from the sun with a new campaign from the agency Heimat Berlin. The nonprofit created what it calls the world’s first sun warning flag. Similar to regular beach warning flags, this flag is designed to be raised when the UV index reaches a critical level.

The flag’s design features a black sun (see image above)—which is a nod to the fact that melanoma comes from the ancient Greek word for black, as pointed out by Creative Review magazine’s coverage of the effort. The group submitted the idea to International Organisation for Standardization (ISO), with the goal of it being implemented worldwide.

Thomas Kolster says: “When we do our work really, really well as agencies or clients, we actually get to create that behavior change at that exact right time. I can see myself lying on the beach and not thinking about UV rays…because you are there at the beach probably drinking a Corona having fun, and then you see that black flag coming up. I think it’s a brilliant piece of communication that shows what we can do as an industry.”



Andi Hicks