[NY Post] A British furniture retailer was banned Wednesday from using an ad that claimed its prices were “Sofa King low.” UK advertising watchdog the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) upheld complaints that the advertisement for The Sofa King store in Northampton, central England, was “offensive and unsuitable for general display.” The ASA acknowledged in its ruling that the ad’s strap line “could be interpreted as a derivative” of the F-bomb, “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.” The regulator said the ad “must not appear again in its current form.” Three readers of a local newspaper had complained to the ASA about the ad, which was published in August last year. In its defense, The Sofa King said the phrase “Where the Prices are Sofa King Low!” had been the firm’s slogan since it began trading nine years ago, adding it did not believe it had caused “serious or widespread offense.” The firm also said no action had been taken over complaints made to Northamptonshire Police about the strap line in 2004.
When I first read this I thought, “OK, I get it…you can’t have some bloke yelling ‘so fucking low’ during Sunday morning cartoons”. But they’re not banning a TV/radio ad as far as I can tell. No one’s dropping F-bombs unexpectedly during supper. They banned exactly what you see in the picture. Apparently the ASA in the UK is not only censoring the norm, but now ensuring anything that’s kinda like something inappropriate gets the ax too. The words “sofa” and “king” can’t appear together consecutively. That’s not just stupid – that’s sofa king stupid. All the Mike Hunts & Phil McCrackins take notice. Your driver’s licenses are offensive and unsuitable for general display. Potential owners of a new bath sponges shop might want to reconsider the ‘Loofah King’ moniker. And don’t even get me started on people taking a sheet all over the place. No way that sheet’s gonna fly over in England. I mean what are they supposed to have done? Called themselves the ‘Sofa Queen’? Sounds like a whore. ‘Sofa Prince’? Sounds like a gay whore. If you’re gonna dominate the sofa market you’ve gotta be the king – and if you’re the king of sofas, you didn’t get there offering prices that are low. Anyone can say that. The smart shopper only wants prices that are Sofa King low. Just like people know there’s ‘funny’, then there’s ‘610-funny’. Right? Right. The ASA is just going overboard and taking dollars out of the Sofa King’s pockets – and that’s notfa king cool.