In a speech earlier this week, Labour policy review boss Jon Cruddas said that his party is set to consider backing a Swedish-style ban on adverts that target children in the run up to 2015. Very noble, but he might be wise to reconsider; after all, haven't we already decided that such a ban is utterly pointless?
One of the immutable laws of travel is that once removed from their country of origin almost all souvenirs become ugly and pointless. Paella dishes look authentic in Spanish kitchens. Get it home to wherever home is, give it five days and it's living in the attic or on its way to the next car boot sale.
Advertisers know that selling fantasy works and if Christmas is nothing else, it's most definitely a fantasy (I'm thinking the fat, bearded man who lives in the North Pole and has flying reindeer rather than the Jesus stuff here). But in selling the fantasy, advertisers perpetuate some truly awful stereotypes.
Today it was Customer Service Day at my branch of Bank of Scotland. I know this because my visit - or if you will, 'customer experience' - was out of the ordinary. In fact, I'd go as far as to say that not only was it different to the other 300 or so visits I've made, but it was also the singular occasion when it was different in any respect at all.
We are living through a time of endless choice and unlimited convenience. Whether we're deciding on cars, mobile phones, holidays or simply which sandwich to have for lunch, the range of available options can be genuinely overwhelming. Yet with so much effort dedicated to giving us what we want, and enjoying unprecedented levels of income, entertainment, and calories as 21st century Britons, we don't appear any happier for it. In return for having Everything Now, we have to work harder and longer. According to the TUC, UK employees work some of the longest hours in Europe, so it's no surprise that unhappiness at work is often cited as a major cause of this broader discontent.