INTERNATIONAL: MEDIUM OF THE MONTH - Old, gifted and French Rosslyn Hyams on the readership of the top conservative daily, Le Figaro.

’It’s always good for sales to be in opposition.’ So says the French right-wing daily, Le Figaro, which claims that since the left’s victory in the elections last June, sales have been running at around 385,000, up from an official 1996 average of 368,109.

’It’s always good for sales to be in opposition.’ So says the

French right-wing daily, Le Figaro, which claims that since the left’s

victory in the elections last June, sales have been running at around

385,000, up from an official 1996 average of 368,109.



Le Figaro has been around since the last century and is considered a

serious news vehicle, describing itself as a paper for the elite. If you

read Le Figaro, you could be among the 8 per cent of the wealthiest

French people. About a third of its million-and-a-half readers fall into

the AB or AB+ category, and live in a household where earnings are

higher than Fr320,000 per year.



More than two-thirds of the heads of households where Le Figaro is read

hold a management-level post, and some 50 per cent work in top

management.



However, the downside is that its readers tend to be older, with more

than 32 per cent over 65 years old, while the next biggest age group, at

21.5 per cent, is between 50 and 64 year olds.



Part of Le Figaro’s appeal for decision-makers is the daily salmon-pink

economic tabloid which, on Mondays, carries some 60 pages of job ads

ranging from vacancies for hotel staff to international directors. Other

supplements and special features (investment, books, sports, multimedia

and what’s-on) appear on different days of the week.



On Saturday, however, Le Figaro comes into its own. It is the only

French daily to offer extra weekend reading in the form of the glossy

supplements, Le Figaro Magazine, Madame Figaro and TV Magazine, which

boost circulation for that day to an average of 500,000.



Advertising sales account for 60 per cent of the paper’s revenues, and

Le Figaro says since the slump of 1991, ad sales have been increasing

steadily.



Le Figaro

Age group          readers (000s)    % of all high-

                                         income Le

                                    Figaro readers

under 25                       77             14.6

25-34                          59             11.3

35-49                         148             28.2

50-64                         134             25.6

over 65                       107             20.4

OCCUPATION (HEAD OF HOUSEHOLD)

Agriculture, trades etc        39              7.4

Company directors              71             13.4

Management                    197             37.4

Professionals                  70             13.4

Intermediary professionals     23              4.4

Unskilled workers               5              0.9

Unsalaried/retired            122             23.1

Source: IPSOS



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