Sofa shop ad banned for offending Sikhs


An advert for a furniture shop has been banned for distorting religious verses in a way likely to cause serious offence to the Sikh community.

The television ad for Birmingham's The Sofa Factory showed an image of Guru Nanak, the founder of the Sikh religion, and featured a song in the style of the sacred Sikh verses, or Gurmantar, but in Punjabi: "True name of God is You are wondrous; come to The Sofa Factory in Birmingham; measure and make your corner sofas; reupholster your older sofas."

It continues: "My father Sarvan Singh sowed the seeds of this business; I come from the village Kooner Dhanni; come on dad; I get plenty of your love and good wishes, plenty of love; you are my guru, my true guru. Sofa Factory."

One viewer complained that the ad's use of Guru Nanak, pictured, and the Gurmantar was offensive. The Advertising Standards Authority upheld complaints.

Upholding the complaint, the ASA said: