Not only is it now one of the retail highlights of the year (behind Christmas and maybe Valentine's Day), it's a cauldron of PR stunts and activity. Covering the White House in giant black spiders, webs and pumpkins was pretty impressive - perhaps not as media-worthy as Michelle Obama's racy leopard costume, though. Pepsi dressing its canned drink in a Coca Cola cape was also a talking point. Kellogg's 'haunted' vending machine dished out free Rice Krispie 'Scares', an experiential stunt which saw a ghostly hand grab anyone hoping fora free snack. Then there was the usual survey stuff gaining column inches - the most successful one naming our very own Leeds as a trick or treating hotspot.And who can forget ASDA's blunder earlier in the month. Its controversial mental patient Halloween costume sparked outrage from mental health charities, medical professionals and the public, forcing them to recall the costume, make a public apology and give a sizeable donation to charity. Our obsession with Halloween has grown dramatically in recent years, and I'd like to think good old PR piggybacking has played a significant part in making it the occasion it is today. Halloween-related spend in 2002 was a mere £12 million - in 2010 it was up to nearly £300 million. That's equivalent of more than one per cent of our overall GDP. Be interesting to see how much that's gone up this year. Using my trick or treat sweets bowl last night as a barometer, I'd say quite a lot. Fancy dress retailers, food and drink brands, bars, nightclubs and Greggs - you can thank us (and Anoka) later ;).