I only have time for a quick post today to point you to a fascinating documentary (The Century of the Self) about Freud's theories and their influence on politics, marketing, advertising, and how we as people consume products. I'm embedding part 2 of 4 (all available free on Google Video), but this segment talks about the beginning of focus groups and the influence psychoanalysis has had on marketing.
I'm planning to post more, but my quick take is that Freud's theories show how easily we can be manipulated and the power of persuasion, but they don't suggest that we are merely driven by irrational, subconscious forces (as he thought). Although we do need to be more aware of why we do what we do (as consumers), and companies should be more honorable in how they *attempt* to manipulate, I don't think we are merely ruled by subconscious forces. I think we can, through practice, become more aware of our (so called) hidden desires.