Blue-Collar Brits Have Same Disposable Income as Upper Class

20 May 2008

LONDON: Blue-collar Brits enjoy the same monthly disposable income as males inhabiting the middle and upper classes, if the Daily Sport is to be believed. Which it rarely is.

The Sport is an unapologetically trashy tabloid with few if any pretensions to hard news coverage. Its stock-in-trade is bare-bosomed beauties and scoops of the ilk of "Stalin's Harem Discovered on Moon!"

Nonetheless, the ad-hungry title has commissioned what it dubs The Real Bloke Report in an effort to prove to marketers and agencies that its mammary-gland-laden pages are an effective communications channel with the nation's moneyed artisans.

The report, produced for the publication by Tickbox Research, used an online panel of "just over" one thousand males. According to this ... 

  • Almost half (43%) of working class men surveyed, including builders, plumbers and firemen, revealed they had between £200 and £500 of disposable income to spend each month.
  • In comparison, only 30% of the upper/upper middle-class men surveyed had the same amount of ready cash.
  • Working class men also have more time to spend their cash. Just over 50% of men in the under £25,000 [annual income] bracket have the whole weekend to consume at their leisure, compared with just a quarter (26%) of the £35,000 earners.
  • An additional quarter (23%) of upper/upper middle-class men admit they only have on average six hours a week of leisure.
Observes Dr D A Holmes, a senior psychologist at Manchester Metropolitan University who acted as a consultant on the Sport report: "In the past, Britain's real working class men have been dismissed by many as a cash-poor group.

"But with a current shortage of skilled manual workers in the world, larger amounts of cash are passing rapidly through the hands of many of these forgotten men.

"For those without mortgages, kids or a demanding wife, almost all of their cash now goes ringing into high street tills."

While Sport Newspapers editor-in-chief Barry McIlheney proclaims: "Today we are reintroducing the forgotten blokes of Britain to the mainstream and communicating their spending potential."

Data sourced from BrandRepublic (UK); additional content by WARC staff