Campaigns by parent-groups like Let Toys Be Toys have gathered momentum and the tide is beginning to turn with a few brands launching products that buck stereotypes. A huge franchise for Xmas 2015 will be the newly-launched Lego Star Wars range that prominently features the new female heroine Rey and her vehicles.
You've probably noticed that Christmas marketing campaigns started at least a month ago and at this point it's all systems go. We've had John Lewis' 'Man on the Moon', the Coca Cola truck tour has been announced and the vast majority of retail outlets are covered in tinsel and fairy lights already. This can only mean one thing, Black Friday is looming large.
'The internet and social media have empowered the PR trade and freed it from subservience to the news media.' This was the provocative starting point for an RSA debate recently, which also asked what this premise meant for the future of journalism and, more importantly, the future of public interest.
Much as I relish the creativity of many of their efforts, I feel that this trend tells a worrying story both about the faltering attempts of business to redefine its place in the world and about our own need to grasp at almost anything to create meaning in our lives. In my book, we could do with rather more powerful stories at Christmas time. Any ideas?
Everyone loves sales. Whether it's the latest Xbox game, kitchen appliance or electronic gadget, people are always looking for bargains, especially during the run up to Christmas. But there's a stark difference between lining up for Boxing Day sales and the animalistic behaviour witnessed last week during the "Black Friday" sales...