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Page last updated at 08:49 GMT, Friday, 17 February 2012

Gypsies 'have to hide who they are'

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The Advertising Standards Agency has received almost 100 complaints from the public expressing concern about the billboard campaign for the latest series of Channel 4's My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding.

The complaints have focused on concerns that the adverts might be offensive to members of the gypsy community, and some that it might be racist.

Jill Brown, from the London Gypsy and Traveller Unit, told Today that the adverts made her and the Gypsies and travellers she spoke to feel "uncomfortable".

"The last series of Big Fat Gypsy Wedding resulted in quite a few children that we knew being taken out of school because they were bullied, they were called prostitutes, they were called gyppo, they were called all these names that people don't like - and the fact that the word 'gypsier' is used, what is this all about?

"To me it sounds the word gypsier is used in a pejorative sense. Most gypsies and travellers have to hide who they are. That's the real life for most gypsies and travellers."


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