I've always been scared of advertising folk. I've met them at parties and I've been to their offices and I've always found them intimidatingly cool. At one company I visited, they held their meetings in a caravan that had somehow been installed in the place, a rather more exotic place to gather than the typical BBC glass box.
For years, we've grown dependant on American consumers as the world's spenders of last resort. They've kept Europe out of recession, allowed China to industrialise, and prevented global deflation. But at the same time, they've not been looking after their own futures.
Put simply, behavioural economics argues that human beings' decision-taking is guided by the evolutionary baggage which we bring with us to the present day. Evolution has made us rational to a point, but not perfectly so. It has given us emotions, for example, which programme us to override our rational brain and act more instinctively.
The new industries are brainy industries and so-called knowledge workers tend to like to be near other people who are the same. Think of the City of Hollywood. People cluster. This means you have winning regions, such as London and Cambridge, and losing regions. The people who want to be top lawyers in Sunderland are hoovered up by London.