Honey, I shrunk the actors in the sofa spots

Oh, those sneaky British ad guys! The U.K.'s Advertising Standards Authority has just banned TV ads for the country's largest furniture chain, DFS. Turns out the retailer not only slashed prices on sofas, it shrank the actors hawking the stuff in an attempt to make the furniture seem bigger, more luxurious and of better value. (The people were filmed against a green screen and then superimposed on the images of the sofas.) The retailer, known mostly for shrill, never-ending sales pitches, has long been suspected of deliberately using shorter actors in its ads. After receiving 21 complaints about the latest ads, from retail agency Gratterpalm, the ASA requested proof of sofa size from DFS. The company didn't comply, saying the promotion had ended and all the pieces had (conveniently) been sold. In fact, the executional sleight of hand is the least of the offenses here: In the ads, the height-challenged hucksters mindlessly mime, dance and play air guitar to Nickleback's "Rock Star"—cheesy creative in the best of times and downright insulting now that scores of Britons are losing their homes in the property crisis.

—Posted by Noreen O'Leary