FT and Economist top Ipsos reading survey

The Financial Times is at the top of the European opinion leaders'

newspaper reading list, according to a new survey from Ipsos-RSL. The

Economist took the number-one slot for weeklies.

The survey asked the views and reading habits of opinion leaders, such

as senior executives of the Fortune 500, government representatives and

editors across 17 European countries, to compile the European Opinion

Leaders Survey 2001.

After the FT, which took 30 per cent of the votes in the daily newspaper

category, came The International Herald Tribune with 24 per cent and

then The Wall Street Journal Europe with 9 per cent.

The Economist is the most frequently read international weekly magazine,

and indeed international title, with a 31 per cent coverage of all


It is followed by National Geographic with 22 per cent and then Time,

which garnered 17 per cent.

The survey also asked respondents to state if they thought the

publications influence their decisions. In this category the FT came out

on top among the daily newspapers, but was closely followed by the

French newspaper Le Monde. The International Herald Tribune came third.

Out of the weeklies, The Economist was the highest-scoring weekly in

this section.

When it came to the question of credibility, The International Herald

Tribune and FT jointly topped the list at 16 per cent of international

newspapers, with The Wall Street Journal Europe in third place with 6

per cent of the votes. The Economist is the most credible magazine,

gaining 14 per cent, with Time in second place with 11 per cent.

Among UK national newspapers, The Times was found to be the most

frequently read newspaper, followed by The Daily Telegraph. The two

papers also kept these positions when it came to the credibility


The first two waves of the research were conducted in April and May with

a third wave in September.

The sample size was 2,717 from a projected universe of 31,498, this

being the total population of the sample sectors.

The International Herald Tribune acted as the guarantor of the survey,

being financially responsible for the research and making sure that it

went forward. However, other media companies sponsored the survey,

including The Economist, the FT, Le Monde, Universal McCann, MindShare

and Carat International.

The International Herald Tribune's worldwide research director, Brian

Shields, said: "The value of the research and why we did it is that it

explores and illuminates an advertising target that doesn't show up on

any existing areas of research. You can't analyse opinion leaders

separately in any other research. We are filling a gap in this

particular research market." Shields added: "The research itself shows

that these magazines and newspapers are potentially involved in

influencing opinion leaders. They are read by these people."


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