DFS has been rebuked by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) for misleading consumers about the size of its sofas.

In TV ads the furniture retailer superimposed virtual sofas that were larger than the actual products.

The authority upheld complaints from 21 members of the public that the ads were misleading.

DFS admitted that the campaign, screened between July and September, filmed actors in front of a green background, onto which different settings can be transposed.

The retailer said it took “particular care” to ensure the sofas appeared as real as possible.

ASA director-general Christopher Graham said: “In this example, the whole thing talks about aspiring to have a 'king-size tub big enough for 10', and about a 'huge range'. The impression that is being given is that you get a hell of a lot for your money and the problem is that the advertiser wasn't able to substantiate this claim.

“You can't say you can buy something the size of a stretch limo if, when you get to the showroom, the reality is a bit more prosaic.”

DFS said it “never had any intention to distort the perspective of its products”.

It added: “The main concern of many customers when buying a new sofa is that it may be too large to fit into their house or flat, so exaggerating the size of products would actually have been a deterrent rather than an aid to sales.”