Northamptonshire sofa firm's slogan branded 'offensive'

A slogan used by a furniture store for nearly a decade has been branded offensive by an advertising watchdog.

The Northampton-based firm uses its own name in ads and on vehicles to claim its prices are "Sofa King Low".

Police investigated complaints in 2004 and no action was thought necessary, but the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) received more complaints.

After further criticism over a regional newspaper ad the ASA has served a ban as the words could be "offensive".

Three readers of the Northampton Herald and Post claimed the catchphrase was "offensive and unsuitable for general display".

'Company name'

The ASA upheld their objections because the phrase could have been interpreted as a derivative of a swear word.

"Consumer research had found this to be a word so likely to offend that it should not be used in ads at all, even when it was relevant to the name of a product," the watchdog said.

"Because of that, we concluded that the slogan was likely to cause serious or widespread offence."

Defending their slogan, the company said: "Complaints made to Northamptonshire Police in 2004 were not taken further by the Crown Prosecution Service.

"The slogan simply used the company name to refer to pricing and that the words had not been changed or run together or punctuation used in a way that was intended to cause offence."

The firm did not believe the slogan caused serious or widespread offence.

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