12:14 06 October 2012
Two billboards for the Channel 4 show My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding, that bares the catch phrase “Bigger. Fatter. Gypsier”, were ruled by Advertising Standards Authority as offensive to the traveller community.
One ad shows two teenagers wearing low-cut tops, while the other features a young boy staring aggressively into the camera.
Advertising Standards Agency started a second investigation after the Irish Traveller Movement in Britain submitted a formal request.
The first investigation concluded that although the posters are not appealing to everyone, they are not offensive as they reflect the content of the program. This decision was overturned after the second investigation.
The agency said about the ruling, as quoted by the BBC: “We noted that the boy in the image was shown in close-up and had his lips pursed in a manner that we considered was likely to be seen as aggressive.
“We considered that negative image, when combined with the strapline which suggested that such behaviour was ‘Gypsier’, would be interpreted by many members of the gypsy and traveller communities and some of the wider public to mean that aggressive behaviour was typical of the younger members of the traveller community.”
On the other hand, Channel 4 has issued a public statement to members of the Gypsy and Traveller community. A spokesman said: “It was not Channel 4's intention for these adverts to cause offence but we are sorry this was the case.”
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