A new study has found that the Manchester accent is considered to be one of the least well respected in the UK.
The research – which has been carried out by education charity, The Sutton Trust, and published in the report Speaking Up: Accents and Social Mobility – has revealed that what has been dubbed “pervasive accent bias” continues to act as a barrier to social mobility, and that accents associated with industrial cities such as Manchester are among the most affected.
For the report, researchers surveyed thousands of sixth-formers, university students, and working professionals across the UK.
Overall, the study presents the fact that respondents from so-called lower social grades report “significantly more mocking or singling out of accent in workplace and social settings,” and this was said to be “at all life stages”.
30% of university students, 29% of university applicants, and 25% of professionals reported having been mocked, criticised, or singled-out in education or work settings due to their accents.
The study also ranks different accents in order of prestige, and found that the accents of people from Manchester, Birmingham, and Liverpool – which are commonly described as “working class accents” – as well as ethnic minority accents, such as Afro-Caribbean and Indian, tend to be the lowest ranked.
The standard Received Pronunciation (RP) accent, French-accented English, and “national” standard varieties (Scottish, American, Irish), on the other hand, all ranked highly.
The study also documented the experiences of 28-year-old participant Ben Jones from Stockport, who said that he was once asked if he was from “one of those desolate wastelands where the factories used to be” when someone heard how he spoke.
Now as senior leader at a school in Boston, Mr Jones said he was “hyper-aware” of his accent, and said it’s “certainly something that people judge you on.”
He continued: “They assume that it means you are not well-educated or cultured, so the minute you open your mouth – literally – you have a disadvantage.”
Speaking on the findings of the research, Sir Peter Lampl – founder and chairman of the Sutton Trust and chairman of the Education Endowment Foundation – said: “It is disgraceful that people are mocked, criticised or singled out for their accents throughout their education, work and social lives.
BrewDog advert claiming fruit-flavoured beer is ‘one of your five a day’ banned by ASA
A BrewDog advert claiming its fruit-flavoured beers can be considered “one of your five a day” has been banned by authorities.
As part of an email that was sent out to customers back in July this year promoting beers with names such as ‘Lost In Guava’, ‘Pineapple Punch’, and ‘Lost In Lychee & Lime’, popular brewery and pub chain BrewDog claimed the drinks could be considered “one of your five a day”.
But after someone complained to the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) that the phrase was considered misleading, the advert has now been banned.
The ASA said consumers “would not expect advertisers to include such claims”.
Addressing the complaint and confirming the banning of the advert, the ASA said: “The ASA acknowledged that the subject heading ‘one of your five a day’ might be interpreted by some consumers as a humorous nod to the fruit-flavoured beers featured in the body of the email.
“However, because the claim referred to well-known government advice on health and wellbeing, we considered that, in general, consumers would not expect advertisers to include such claims unless the advertised product was recognised as meeting the requirements of that advice.”
The ASA added that many consumers would be aware that some craft beers contain an unusually high amount of fruit, but in general, they would be uncertain as to whether this would be counted as a portion.
Because of the this, the advert has been banned and must not re-appear in its current form.
BrewDog then agreed in response to the ASA ruling the advertised beers did not count towards a consumer’s five a day.
Yet, the company sarcastically followed this up by admitting the advert was just “tongue in cheek” and only sent out via email to existing customers likely aware of BrewDog’s “playful” marketing style, believing they would generally understand that alcoholic beverages are not equivalent to portions of fruit or vegetables.
“We respect the ASA’s decision and are happy to confirm that beer is not a fruit or a vegetable,” a spokesperson for BrewDog said in response.
Featured Image – Grant Anderson (via BrewDog)
Popular London bakery Gail’s to open string of North West cafes next year
Popular craft bakery Gail’s has hinted at plans to open a string of new cafes in the North West next year.
The group, which already has a large number of bakery-cafes in the south of England, has announced it will open its first North West site in Wilmslow in early 2023.
Bosses have also said that ‘further locations in the North West’ will be announced in the new year, adding that all the new bakeries will serve GAIL’s artisan sourdough breads, pastries, sandwiches, and cakes alongside its specialty House Blend coffee.
The news also seems to potentially confirm speculation that the brand is planning a move into Manchester after The Manc shared news of potential plans for a Gail”s opening in the city centre in October.
Having already seen planning documents that suggest the chain is planning to take over the former White Stuff unit on King Street, it now appears that more news on that opening will be coming in 2023 – although it’s hard to say if it will be the first Manchester site to be announced.
The bakery group already has strong ties with Manchester, having run its sister wholesale bakery The Bread Factory in Openshaw since 2017.
Formed in the early 1990s by namesake Gail Mejia, Gail’s began when its eponymous founder decided to bring together the best bakers in London to create bakes for the capitals top chefs and restaurants.
Today, is known more as a customer-facing cafe and bakery whilst The Bread Factory continues the original wholesale legacy – supplying high quality, artisan breads to some of the region’s top local restaurants.
Gail’s first cafe opened on Hampstead High Street in 2005, and now the brand has 79 in neighbourhoods in and around London, Oxford, Brighton and more.
Turning back the clock on industrialised baking practices and moving to bake bread as it used to be baked: by hand, using quality ingredients and time-worn artisanal methods, Gail’s soon established a name for itself and has come a long way since those early days.
Still, the stuff that matters – the ethos, the suppliers, the skill and a handful of tried-and-tested sourdough starter cultures – hasn’t changed.
A champion for sustainability, the bakery also prides itself on minimising food waste by carefully setting aside any leftover food and donating it to a selection of local charities in each eatery’s neighbourhood