The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has banned Sofa King’s regional press ad which included the slogan “The Sofa King – Where the Prices are Sofa King Low!” after receiving three complaints.
The ASA held the slogan could be “interpreted as derivative of a particular swear word which consumer research had found 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”. It concluded that it was likely to cause “serious or widespread offence” and that the ad breached the CAP Code.
The Sofa King have defended their use of the slogan stating that they have not received any complaints directly. The general online opinion appears to be that it’s all just a bit of tongue in cheek fun. However, the slogan does suggest a serious swear word so that once a formal complaint was made to the ASA, it had little choice but to ban the slogan.
Posted by Sara McNeill, who specialises in non-contentious intellectual property matters, including licensing, franchise, collaboration and development arrangements and IP audits and strategy; experienced in drafting and advising on commercial agreements.
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