Class readership of British press

  Social grade Newspaper
A Upper middle class The Times, Financial Times
B Middle class Daily Telegraph, Guardian, Independent
C1 Lower middle class Daily Express, Daily Mail, Today
C2, D, E Working class Sun, Daily Mirror, Daily Star


The class breakdown of British newspapers readership is shown in Table 2.2 . It is interesting to read about the percentage ofpopulation or different class readership. The Times, although world famous, has a very small circulation of about 400,000 while the Sun sells 4 million copies daily. Both happen to belong to the same company but each has a very different readership. The kinds of goods and services advertised in one of them would not be advertised in the other.

In some countries, newspapers may not appeal to class differences so much as to different political, religious, language, nationality or ethnic groups of readers. For instance, there are English language newspapers in many parts of the world but also many of them using local languages. In Hong Kong, for example, there are famous English language newspapers like the South China Morning Post, but they have some hundred Chinese language newspapers.

The idea of social grades has to be regarded as something peculiar to British society where it is possible to have curious class distinctions as when the workers in the factory may be connected with typical trade unionist attitudes while the clerical and secretarial workers in the offices may be connected with more independent social attitudes. This has nothing to do with what they earn, and they may be neighbours in the same street, but it affects what they buy. For example, the farmer may tend to spend money, while the clerical workers may prefer to save and invest. For advertisers they represent very different markets. The 'affluent worker' is not very socially mobile as a London University study conducted in Luton. However, both social grades belong to the mass market which buys the majority of FMCGs and form the mass audience for popular TV, even if they may read different newspapers.

When planning an advertising campaign it is therefore necessary to define the social grade or grades of possible buyers and to select the media which will reach them in the largest numbers at the lowest cost.


  1. A) Match the words on the left with the expressions on the right.
  2. A. Expressing Present
  3. A. Make up short dialogues expressing your opinion, agreeing or disagreeing. Use the prompts given below.
  4. A. Read the short extract from the interview and recognize any constructions expressing Future Actions.
  5. Act as a teacher in class, using the material from the lectures above.
  6. American classical music
  7. B. Express your personal point of view regarding the challenges that are in store for us in terms of preserving the environment and saving the humankind in the near future.
  8. B. Expressing Past and Present
  9. B. Now try to go around a class, greet and start a conversation.
  10. British culture, traditions and mass media.
  11. British Customs and Traditions
  12. British Universities

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