CAMPAIGN INTERNATIONAL: MEDIUM OF THE MONTH - Political exposes have made El Mundo a household name in Spain, Karen Yates reports

Scourge of the last leftist government and darling of its co-founder and editor, Pedro Ramirez, El Mundo has been a quintessentially Spanish newspaper during its nine-year existence.

Scourge of the last leftist government and darling of its

co-founder and editor, Pedro Ramirez, El Mundo has been a

quintessentially Spanish newspaper during its nine-year existence.



However, late last year came the news that it was to have a new, very

Anglo-Saxon parent in the form of Pearson, which through its Recoletos

subsidiary is to buy a 20-30 per cent stake in El Mundo’s publisher,

Unidad Editorial.



It will give Recoletos and Pearson a stake in the fastest-growing

Spanish newspaper of the 90s and a possible rival to the market leader,

El Pais.



Spain has low newspaper readership by European standards, and a strong

regional press, so advertisers seeking national coverage have only a few

options. The biggest-selling paper is Marca, a sports title, and the

second the left-leaning El Pais, owned by Recoletos’ arch-rival, Prisa.

Tying for third place is the very traditional and right-wing title, ABC,

plus the energetic and relatively youthful El Mundo.



El Mundo was founded in the late 80s by a breakaway group from the daily

newspaper, Diario 16. In the early 90s a stream of articles about

corruption, which were instrumental in unseating the socialist

government, made it a household name. Despite this and the fact that

Ramirez is a personal friend of the new, right-of-centre president, Jose

Maria Azhar, the newspaper claims it has no political allegiance. ’If

there is a corrupt government then we will uncover the stories, whatever

the party,’ a spokesman declares.



The tabloid-sized newspaper introduced colour for both editorial and ads

this year, and displays heavy advertising from car brands, mobile phones

and computers. Despite nine regional editions, its readership profile is

strongly skewed towards Madrid, as is that of El Pais. El Mundo targets

younger consumers than its nearest rival, ABC, with a readership base of

20- to 45-year-olds, drawn from the upper-middle income bracket.





EL MUNDO KEY FACTS

1998 ratecard full-page colour (weekday)          pounds 9,500

1998 ratecard full-page colour (Sunday)          pounds 11,500

Circulation 1997:              El Pais                441,000*

                               El Mundo               301,000*

                               ABC                    301,000*

*Source: El Mundo, quoting OJD.

Figures include El Mundo’s circulation in the Balearics.



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