Just when you thought Simon Cowell had bought up the remaining bags of human feeling and poked them cackling into the furnace which fuels his gigantic trouser press, the executive director of marketing for Marks and Spencer pops up with this depressing soundbite:
Our TV campaigns...for many mark the start of Christmas.
Okay, it's not as if we're being willfully naive, but it's disheartening to hear it uttered nonetheless. Like also finding out last week that Justin Bieber has a penis and allegedly christened it backstage, we know that Christmas incoming is no longer marked by the first light dusting of snow on one's windowsill, the gathering of family round The Spy Who Loved Me, the stoking of the fire nor the whiff of chestnuts and sherry. No. The pinnacle of the Judeo-Christian calendar - for many - is ushered in by Dannii Minogue slipping into some control-top tights for a hoe-down hosted by Twiggy carrying some catering-size tins of elite biscuits, winking from inside a dog-tooth check peacoat that a middle-aged woman will punch you in the throat to get her hands on come December 17th.
And indeed, theweemo holds her hands up; she has enjoyed past M&S celebrity Christmas advertisements. The Take That one was ace, mainly because Take That could appear in a promotional broadcast for The National Front and make it lovely. And 2009's at least admitted that women in undies had sod all to do with Christmas. And featured Stephen Fry, who could appear in a promotional broadcast for mindless killing sprees and make it lovely.
But to plant the really not-ever-so-Christmassy bonnet on it this year, M&S have taken the 'carol singers at your front door' motif and run with it, re-casting the traditional shower of untalented local school kids (not without some degree of irony, theweemo notes) with this year's X Factor contestants. theweemo cannot speak for the country but fears she does when she exclaims 'FFS.' At least Take That can SING and refrain from wearing curious triangles of lace and/or sequins on the sides of their head to cover their crow's feet.
And, lo, Marks have even incorporated the country's seemingly unslakable thirst for high-tension bootings out. As the weeks progress, the X Factory ejectees will also be systematically extracted from the advert! Talent-free wig-stand Frankie Cocozza has already been hastily chopped from the ad following this week's revelations that he likes more than a Vicks nasal congestion stick up his nose.
Credit where it's due, mind, the ad agency responsible for this concept has certainly hit the relevance button, weaving together popular culture and obsessive consumerism into the televisual advertisement version of every charity single video ever churned out of the cheese mill.
In light of this, theweemo wonders whether if M&S sales drop any further we can expect to hear tell of cashiers staging arguments in order to boost fascinated foot traffic through the menswear department. Or that perhaps Sinitta has been drafted in to parade the food hall wearing nothing but a BLT to boost sales of the three-for-one luncheon meal deal.
When theweemo wishes upon a star, Simon Cowell falls screaming into his own trouser press.
She is certain Jesus would concur.