As we reported earlier this year, when a new ad campaign began for Channel 4 show Big Fat Gypsy Weddings, the images and strap-lines used in the campaign infuriated some, prompting complaints to Channel 4 and the Advertising Standards Authority.
The adverts – which were posted on billboards and hoardings as well as in papers and magazines – featured images of stars of the show along with the words, “Bigger. Fatter. Gypsier.”
At the time, the Advertising Standards Authority ruled that although the adverts “might not be to everyone’s taste,” they were “unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence” as they reflected the content of the programme accurately.
However, The Sun reports that the Irish Traveller Movement In Britain were unhappy with that ruling, so they took their concerns to an independent watchdog and asked that they reopen the investigation…
The group claimed that the ads were racially demeaning and exposed their children to bullying and abuse.
Following the complaint, the watchdog ruled that Channel 4 had acted irresponsibly by depicting children in “a sexualised way.” The particular image referred to in that instance was one that featured a young teenaged girl wearing a low-cut top.
Another image featured a young boy pursing his lips, which the Traveller Movement claimed was “in a manner likely to be seen as aggressive” and cause serious offence.
The watchdog body ruled in favour of the Traveller Movement and have ordered that the two ads in question must not appear again.
A Channel 4 spokesman said of the debacle, “It was not Channel 4’s intention for these adverts to cause offence but we are sorry this was the case among some members of the gypsy and traveller community.
“All responsible action was taken pre-publication.”
I honestly cannot see what the fuss is about! In the show, we see far worse than anything that was depicted in the ads surely?
What say you?