Channel 4's Gypsy campaign puts my work at risk, says photographer Elisabeth Blanchet


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The Independent Online

The photographer behind a controversial Channel 4 campaign that is under investigation by the advertising watchdog has complained at the way the broadcaster used her images to promote its show Big Fat Gypsy Weddings.

The poster campaign, which featured the slogan "Bigger. Fatter. Gypsier", has been the subject of hundreds of complaints and claims that it has provoked violence against members of the travelling community.

In a statement on her website, Elisabeth Blanchet, who has been taking pictures of Gypsies and Travellers in the UK for the past nine years, claimed the adverts had damaged her reputation and put at risk her future relationship with travelling communities. "Even though I am not responsible for the slogan, its use on my pictures puts me in a very uncomfortable position and is prejudicial to my work with Gypsies," she said, adding that she had at first been enthusiastic about the "appealing" commission.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) originally decided that the complaints did not merit investigation but that finding was overturned this week following an appeal and an independent review by the former senior civil servant Hayden Phillips.

Channel 4 said it would await the outcome of the ASA investigation before commenting.