A leather sofa

When is a leather sofa not a leather sofa? That’s the question the advertising watchdogs were presented with when someone complained about an ad from Huddersfield’s Love Sofas Ltd.

After buying the sofa, the complainant went to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) because the sofa didn’t appear to be made of leather.

Love Sofas Ltd said the product was upholstered with something known as ‘bonded leather’ which is made of off-cuts of leather, shredded, reconstituted and given a polyurethane coating to give a leather look. They understood that most bonded leather sofas sold in the UK comprised 15–35% leather content and believed its use was widespread.

The ASA disagreed as it felt a sofa described as being ‘leather’ would, to most people, mean that the sofa was made from 100% leather.

It ruled that the ad must not appear again in its current form saying: “We told Love Sofas Ltd not to use terms which implied that the materials used in their products included leather unless they held evidence demonstrating that this was the case.”

Read the full ruling here.