Tattoo campaign – “Scratcher-free zone”

Tattoos have become an issue that more and more people are interested in.

It’s estimated that at least one and a half million tattoos are drawn each year.  Around a third of adults aged under 44 years old are estimated to have been ‘inked’, and even one in ten people aged over 60 years old are believed to have a tattoo.  The Prime Minister’s wife, Samantha Cameron even has a tattoo on her ankle.

Samantha Cameron's ankle tattoo

Samantha Cameron’s ankle tattoo

It is no surprise that mainstream TV has become more obsessed with tattoos, with programmes like Tattoo Fixers (Channel 4) and Tattoo Disasters (Channel 5 and MTV) drawing large audiences.

Citizens Advice Hart, based in our offices in Fleet and Yateley regularly gives free, impartial independent advice on a range of consumer issues, and campaigns on them too when it is clear that the voice of the consumer is not being heard.

We'll be campaigning for a "Scratcher-free zone" - image courtesy of Brazillian tattooist Igor Pereira

Image courtesy of Brazilian tattooist Igor Pereira

When it comes to tattoos, it became clear to us earlier this year that the state of consumer protection and professional regulation in the UK is just is not up to scratch – and that is why we will be launching a campaign – “Scratcher-free zone” – later this year.

Currently, there is no single system of regulation for tattoo artists throughout the UK.  You do not need a qualification to become a tattoo artist – it is arguably more difficult to become a hairdresser.  It should be easier for consumers to know their rights, and be able to protect themselves.

As part of our campaign, we really want to hear from you about YOUR tattoos.

  • we would love to celebrate your beautiful tattoo body art.  We want to share the ‘good’ practice, and celebrate local tattoo artwork in a ‘gallery’;
  • if you have had a bad experience, equally, we want to hear from you too.  We are looking for case studies for our report.

We just had to illustrate the campaign with a tattoo of a ‘hart’ or deer.  For those of you not aware, a ‘hart’ is an old name for a stag, specifically a red deer stag more than five years old.  This is why you see the animal associated with the name given to our local area (as well as there being a River Hart running through the area).

If you would like to take part in our forthcoming “Scratcher-free zone” campaign on better consumer protection and professional regulation for tattoos, email with your name, and where you are from, and ideally, attach a jpeg of your tattoo too if you are happy for us to put it on our Pinterest board at  Please include a few sentences with your experiences of getting a tattoo, good and bad, and your top tips for someone considering getting one for the first time.


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