Skcin 'Sunny3' by McCann London

The Karen Clifford Skin Cancer Charity has launched a hoax campaign to highlight the dangers of "binge tanning".

McCann London planted a fake story in The Sun about "Sunny3", a new fake-tan product that claimed to triple the power of the sun.

The stunt drew 20,000 people to the Sunny3 website with more than 80 per cent ordering free samples.

The campaign also included a faked news report, published on YouTube, on a "night tanning" craze sweeping Europe.

The brief was to "highlight the damaging, life-threatening effects of binge tanning to a 15- to 24-year-old audience who view sunburn as a natural part of the sun-tanning process".

The campaign was backed by product reviews on beauty blogs and activity on Facebook and Twitter, even fooling one star of Geordie Shore to Tweet her approval.

The Sun later revealed the hoax to readers in a full-page-spread and users who had signed up for samples were e-mailed with information about skin cancer.