A billboard campaign featuring an advert for Channel 4 hit, My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding; has been ruled likely to cause 'serious offence’ to members of the gypsy and traveller community – according to the Advertising Standards Authority.
The ruling covers two posters one depicting a young boy with pursed lips staring malevolently with the words ‘Bigger. Fatter. Gypsier’ superimposed over them.
It was deemed that this was likely to be perceived as ‘aggressive’ and when combined with the word ‘gypsier’ could imply that younger members of the community were violent.
More than 370 complaints were received in relation to these with the ASA originally advising that they were unlikely to cause offence as they reflected the content of the programme.
The ASA revised this judgement following advice from the Irish Traveller Movement in Britain, who claimed that the ads were racially demeaning.
In a statement the ASA said: “We considered that implication was likely to cause serious offence to some members of those communities, while endorsing the prejudicial view that young gypsies and travellers were aggressive."
Channel 4 has previously apologised for the campaign insisting that it had not intended to cause offence and that everyone involved had consented.