A furniture retailer has had its TV advertisement banned for distorting religious verses in a way that was likely to cause serious offence.
The advertisement (pictured) for The Sofa Factory in Birmingham 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 with the lyrics, in Punjabi: 'True name of God is You are wondrous; come to The Sofa Factory in Birmingham; measure and make your corner sofas; re-upholster your older sofas.'
The lyrics continued: '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.'
A viewer complained that the use of Guru Nanak and the Gurmantar was offensive, and the Advertising Standards Authority agreed.
'We considered that the use of the central icon of the Sikh faith and the use and distortion of religious verses to advertise products made light of those important elements of the Sikh faith in a way that was likely to cause serious offence to some members of the Sikh community,' ruled the ASA.
The Sofa Factory did not respond to the ASA.