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Nov 22 2018   10:04AM GMT

There’s a human in my florist

Ryan Priest Ryan Priest Profile: Ryan Priest

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The season of festive advertising is upon us, and this year’s key theme is Guilt Olympics. Whether it be Visa, John Lewis or Iceland, firms are lining up to tell you not to even think about enjoying Christmas before making some very modern moral considerations. Thank God Google’s here to clean up your mess.

While no app yet exists to magically help you afford pianos for all your little dormant Elton Johns or scan shampoo ingredients for palm oil without forcing your brain into a coma, Visa’s wish that you support your high street has been made more viable by Google teaming up with local-shop inventory startup NearSt.

The objective is to encourage consumers to buy all their gifts the good, old-fashioned way by providing a search function that brings up information about nearby stockists and prices, much to the total dismay of Ebenezer Bezos.

This is the exact behaviour Visa has asked of you, vouchsafing you that feel-good factor you’ve craved since learning how lonely the real-life butcher, baker and flower arranger are in its advert. You can only assume the mere sight of another person will save their lives.

Christmas can now only be spoiled by the Joneses’ delivery of pianos and Katona-scale Iceland banquet. “We might buy online,” they’ll shrug, “but at least we’re not orangutan-murdering scum.”

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