Channel Four in the UK has launched this controversial ad campaign for a new series of ‘My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding.’ Image by Ross McCullough.

This post has nothing to do with prisons, but as you know I’m appalled when imagery is not used responsibly.

In the past 24 hours I’ve come across two advertisement campaigns that are beyond indecent. I am incensed.

The situation is more galling given the fact that both advertisers are groups that I’d expect to have an enlightened approach to the politics of representation.


In the UK, the usually responsible Channel Four has launched a controversial ad campaign for a new series of ‘My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding.’ Emblazoned across image of gypsy youth are the words: BIGGER. FATTER. GYPSIER.

Matt Daw, Projects Manager at PhotoVoice today said:

The first two words just seem inappropriate. The last is inconceivable in today’s world. In short, the advert presents a boy’s recognisable face and asks us to make a huge number of assumptions about him based on his being a member of an ethnic minority. No other context is offered.

Members of the Hackney Traveller community have said:

These adverts are stigmatising us by the words and pictures they use. This programme is turning us into something that we are not’.

Manchester-based journalist and photographer, Ciara Leeming who has worked extensively with Roma (European travellers in the UK) groups tweeted that the campaign was “downright racist.”

Photovoice will be picketing Channel 4 today.


Meanwhile, the animal rights group PETA wants to fight cruelty against animals by making light of violence against women.

The premise of their latest TV campaign is ludicrous: If your boyfriend becomes vegan, he’ll immediate be such a “stud” that you should be ready for sex marathons so violent, he’ll put your head through the wall … resulting in a neck brace. After that he’ll send you down the road – in your underwear – to buy post-coitus vegetables.


This is the latest of PETA’s “ads” produced for web distribution with the intention to shock and no hope of making it on to TV. But still.

What is wrong with you people? Oh yeah, you’re single minded advertisers with dollar signs obscuring your view of the sensible and right.

Matt Bors, my favourite Portland-based cartoonist batters PETA with his post, PETA Targets No One Ever With Its Latest Campaign: “I’m big into not injuring the women I have sex with or bashing their heads into walls.”