ASA to officially investigate controversial campaign, having dismissed 370 complaints in March.
Several media outlets are reporting this afternoon that the Advertising Standards Authority are to formally investigate an advertising campaign run by Channel 4 to promote its Big Fat Gypsy Weddings series which featured the words ‘Bigger. Fatter. Gypsier’ over images of travellers, including young children. The images were on both TV adverts and billboards.
At the time the adverts attracted complaints from individuals and organisations, but were dismissed by ASA as the adverts were deemed ‘not likely to cause offence’.
However following appeals to the ASA’s independent reviewer Sir Hayden Phillips to reassess the decision and consider an investigation from legal representatives of the Irish Traveller Movement in Britain (ITMB) and others, ASA has stated its original decision was “flawed” and admitted it did not know one of the complainants was the ITMB. Sir Phillips told the regulators council he believed the ad campaign should be fully investigated.
More on this story at The Guardian
Laura Pidcock, Education Worker at Show Racism the Red Card said "We are glad that the ASA has decided to officially investigate the advertising campaign. The advert was based on a crude stereotype of Gypsy people. The slogan which included the word ‘Gypsier’ implies that Gypsy people are one homogenous group and there are no differences within the culture. The title of the programme ‘My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding’ also ignores that the fact that there are other traveller groups that featured in the show. Programmes like this seek only to compound stereotypes which fuel racism."