The back cover of this week's edition of 'The Bookseller' is taken up by an advert for the Royal Mail. I was disconcerted to find, in the small print at the bottom of the page, the following:'Royal Mail, the Cruciform and the colour red are registered trade marks of Royal Mail Group Ltd.'
Mother, whip that red felt pen out of your child's chubby little fist. Teachers, find some other way of marking your displeasure on incompetent essays. Artists, step away from the Vermilion and the Crimson Lake. Santa, start thinking of a costume change. And Rudolph, about your nose ...
What penalties will we incur if we infringe the Royal Mail's rights over the sanguinary shade? Let's think. Post being delivered late? Frequent misdeliveries? Postmen who dump parcels in view of the street, without ringing your bell to check whether you're in? Much needed Post Offices closing right, left and centre?
On second thoughts, just keep using the bloody red.