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Drug manufacturer

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Drug manufacturer [#permalink] New post 01 Nov 2012, 05:55
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Question Stats:

91% (02:10) correct 9% (00:01) wrong based on 23 sessions
any expert please help me out!!!
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA

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Re: Drug manufacturer [#permalink] New post 01 Nov 2012, 15:24
Expert's post
Dear alchemist009,

I'm happy to help with this. :-)

BTW, you specify no source, but this appears to be copied from somewhere. What is the source?

The drug manufacturer is arguing against the TV network's ban on its advertisement. It would seem that reason for the ban may be giving the false impression that a doctor is recommending the cough syrup. The drug manufacturer suggests that the audience will already know it's an actor playing this doctor.

The TV executive counters --- if they can tell he's an actor, why have him in the ad at all? It's a contradiction --- why have a "doctor" in the ad for his presume credibility if everyone is going to see that he's not really a doctor, just an actor playing a doctor?

You simply indicated an incorrect answer of (E) and the OA of (A), so I will just discuss only those two.

Which of the following is an argumentative strategy used by the television in response to the drug manufacturer?
(A) Indicated that the reason the drug manufacturer offers for relaxing the guideline conflicts with the manufacturer's presumed motive for presenting the image of a physician in the advertisement.


This gets at the very heart of the contradiction that the TV exec is pointing out. Presumably, the drug manufacturer wants a "doctor" in the ad to give credibility to his recommendation. But if, as the drug manufacturer suggests, most of the audience will realize it's not a doctor, then of course what that actor/doctor says loses most of its credibility. That's the big contradiction that the TV exec points outs. This is why (A) is correct.

(E) Questioning the ability of drug manufacturer to make any sweeping generalization about what many different members of the audience may think.

It's true that the drug manufacturer makes a sweeping generalization about the audience, but the TV exec doesn't argue against that in the least. The TV exec simply accepts that at face value, saying, "If that's true, then ..." The TV exec doesn't call that sweeping generalization into question at all --- rather, he says "Let's assume that sweeping generalization is true. Then, wouldn't such-and-such be true?" Rather than calling the sweeping generalization into question, the TV exec turns it around and makes his part and parcel of his counter-argument. This is why (E) is incorrect.

BTW, I don't know the source, but I don't really like this as a GMAT CR question. Among other things, all the CR questions in the GMAT OG, in addition to having a firm logical basis, are also grounded in what actually takes place in the real world. By contrast, the conversation of this CR question has to be taking place in some imaginary fantasy world. In our real world, having actors play doctors and thereby bamboozle the general public is absolutely standard practice throughout drug advertising --- it's not even the least bit controversial. The practice is essentially universal, and has never been challenged legally in any serious way. The only reason a TV executive would possible object would be moral --- I would argue that the TV executive who turns down a lucrative advertising contract for purely moral reasons is an entity slightly more fictional than Tinkerbell and the Tooth Fairy.

Does all this make sense?

Mike :-)
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Re: Drug manufacturer [#permalink] New post 01 Nov 2012, 16:34
thanks Mikemcgarry for your detail analysis of those 2 options. unfortunately, the question is from gmatprep question pack 1. initially, i also puzzled when i first saw the argument. if i were tv executive, i would not bother whether a "real doctor" or "actor" plays the role. on moral ground, as you mention, then the argument seems legit. but i did not identify any moral logic in the argument.

regards Nafi
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Re: Drug manufacturer [#permalink] New post 07 Jul 2013, 05:44
mikemcgarry wrote:
Dear alchemist009,

I'm happy to help with this. :-)

BTW, you specify no source, but this appears to be copied from somewhere. What is the source?

The drug manufacturer is arguing against the TV network's ban on its advertisement. It would seem that reason for the ban may be giving the false impression that a doctor is recommending the cough syrup. The drug manufacturer suggests that the audience will already know it's an actor playing this doctor.

The TV executive counters --- if they can tell he's an actor, why have him in the ad at all? It's a contradiction --- why have a "doctor" in the ad for his presume credibility if everyone is going to see that he's not really a doctor, just an actor playing a doctor?

You simply indicated an incorrect answer of (E) and the OA of (A), so I will just discuss only those two.

Which of the following is an argumentative strategy used by the television in response to the drug manufacturer?
(A) Indicated that the reason the drug manufacturer offers for relaxing the guideline conflicts with the manufacturer's presumed motive for presenting the image of a physician in the advertisement.


This gets at the very heart of the contradiction that the TV exec is pointing out. Presumably, the drug manufacturer wants a "doctor" in the ad to give credibility to his recommendation. But if, as the drug manufacturer suggests, most of the audience will realize it's not a doctor, then of course what that actor/doctor says loses most of its credibility. That's the big contradiction that the TV exec points outs. This is why (A) is correct.

(E) Questioning the ability of drug manufacturer to make any sweeping generalization about what many different members of the audience may think.

It's true that the drug manufacturer makes a sweeping generalization about the audience, but the TV exec doesn't argue against that in the least. The TV exec simply accepts that at face value, saying, "If that's true, then ..." The TV exec doesn't call that sweeping generalization into question at all --- rather, he says "Let's assume that sweeping generalization is true. Then, wouldn't such-and-such be true?" Rather than calling the sweeping generalization into question, the TV exec turns it around and makes his part and parcel of his counter-argument. This is why (E) is incorrect.

BTW, I don't know the source, but I don't really like this as a GMAT CR question. Among other things, all the CR questions in the GMAT OG, in addition to having a firm logical basis, are also grounded in what actually takes place in the real world. By contrast, the conversation of this CR question has to be taking place in some imaginary fantasy world. In our real world, having actors play doctors and thereby bamboozle the general public is absolutely standard practice throughout drug advertising --- it's not even the least bit controversial. The practice is essentially universal, and has never been challenged legally in any serious way. The only reason a TV executive would possible object would be moral --- I would argue that the TV executive who turns down a lucrative advertising contract for purely moral reasons is an entity slightly more fictional than Tinkerbell and the Tooth Fairy.

Does all this make sense?

Mike :-)


Hi Mike,

Can you explain what is the meaning of "Therefore networks should relax their guidelines to permit our company to broadcast this advertisement".
What does manufacturer want to do with relaxed guidelines?
I don't get how is he contradicting himself. Manufacturer says - i don't want an actor - so he asks for relaxed guidelines (to do what?) and how does this contradict his earlier statement?
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Re: Drug manufacturer [#permalink] New post 07 Jul 2013, 13:11
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cumulonimbus wrote:
Hi Mike,
Can you explain what is the meaning of "Therefore networks should relax their guidelines to permit our company to broadcast this advertisement".
What does manufacturer want to do with relaxed guidelines?
I don't get how is he contradicting himself. Manufacturer says - i don't want an actor - so he asks for relaxed guidelines (to do what?) and how does this contradict his earlier statement?

Dear cumulonimbus,
I'm happy to help. :-) Here's the prompt in which that sentence appears.
Drug manufacturer: Television audiences are sure to realize that the "physician" recommending our brand of cough syrup in our advertisement is actually an actor playing a role. Hence they will not place undue trust in the advice given by this actor. Therefore, networks should relax their guidelines to permit our company to broadcast this advertisement.
Television executive: If the audience can tell that the actor is not a physician, then your advertisement need not have a physician figure recommending your product.

This is a conversation between a "drug manufacturer", someone who works at a drug company and who wants to run an advertisement, a TV commercial, for a drug that they make, and a "television executive", someone who decides what TV commercials get to go on the air and which ones will be rejected. We can infer that these two people disagree on a certain advertisement. The drug people made a commercial for some drug they manufacture, and this drug features an actor playing a physician (a wildly common phenomenon on American TV). The drug people made this commercial and obviously want to see it go on the air. Apparently, the TV executive has refused to air the commercial, and apparently he is citing some kind of guidelines that his company, the TV network, has about which commercials are allows and which aren't allowed. The drug company representative opposes this decision, and one of the ways he is challenging it is by questioning the guidelines by which the company made that decision. The drug representative guy does not say "you shouldn't have guidelines" or "your guidelines are wrong", because those things would be considered rude. Instead, he suggests the TV network should relax their guideline.

Think of it this way. Some places have very strict guidelines --- tight rules, with no exceptions, no consideration for any extenuating circumstances. (The IRS, the INS, the TSA all tend to operate this way.) Other places have rules or guidelines, the rules or guidelines are looser ---they allow for exceptions. Some parents have stricter, tighter rules for their kids, while other parents are very loose with rules. To relax rules or guidelines means to go from a very tight interpretation, one that allows absolutely no exceptions, to a looser interpretation, one that allows exceptions.

The drug manufacturer knows the guideline the TV executive follows, but is asking him to interpret those guideline in a looser way, to make the exception of allowing his company's commercial, the drug commercial with the physician-actor, on the air.

Does all this make sense?
Mike :-)
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Re: Drug manufacturer [#permalink] New post 07 Jul 2013, 19:50
Hi Mike,

Isnt option E also wrong because it says that tv executive questions the ability of drug manufacturer, but no where in the stimulus tv executive discusses/contends the ability of drug manufacturer?
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Re: Drug manufacturer [#permalink] New post 07 Jul 2013, 20:29
mikemcgarry wrote:
cumulonimbus wrote:
Hi Mike,
Can you explain what is the meaning of "Therefore networks should relax their guidelines to permit our company to broadcast this advertisement".
What does manufacturer want to do with relaxed guidelines?
I don't get how is he contradicting himself. Manufacturer says - i don't want an actor - so he asks for relaxed guidelines (to do what?) and how does this contradict his earlier statement?

Dear cumulonimbus,
I'm happy to help. :-) Here's the prompt in which that sentence appears.
Drug manufacturer: Television audiences are sure to realize that the "physician" recommending our brand of cough syrup in our advertisement is actually an actor playing a role. Hence they will not place undue trust in the advice given by this actor. Therefore, networks should relax their guidelines to permit our company to broadcast this advertisement.
Television executive: If the audience can tell that the actor is not a physician, then your advertisement need not have a physician figure recommending your product.

This is a conversation between a "drug manufacturer", someone who works at a drug company and who wants to run an advertisement, a TV commercial, for a drug that they make, and a "television executive", someone who decides what TV commercials get to go on the air and which ones will be rejected. We can infer that these two people disagree on a certain advertisement. The drug people made a commercial for some drug they manufacture, and this drug features an actor playing a physician (a wildly common phenomenon on American TV). The drug people made this commercial and obviously want to see it go on the air. Apparently, the TV executive has refused to air the commercial, and apparently he is citing some kind of guidelines that his company, the TV network, has about which commercials are allows and which aren't allowed. The drug company representative opposes this decision, and one of the ways he is challenging it is by questioning the guidelines by which the company made that decision. The drug representative guy does not say "you shouldn't have guidelines" or "your guidelines are wrong", because those things would be considered rude. Instead, he suggests the TV network should relax their guideline.

Think of it this way. Some places have very strict guidelines --- tight rules, with no exceptions, no consideration for any extenuating circumstances. (The IRS, the INS, the TSA all tend to operate this way.) Other places have rules or guidelines, the rules or guidelines are looser ---they allow for exceptions. Some parents have stricter, tighter rules for their kids, while other parents are very loose with rules. To relax rules or guidelines means to go from a very tight interpretation, one that allows absolutely no exceptions, to a looser interpretation, one that allows exceptions.

The drug manufacturer knows the guideline the TV executive follows, but is asking him to interpret those guideline in a looser way, to make the exception of allowing his company's commercial, the drug commercial with the physician-actor, on the air.

Does all this make sense?
Mike :-)


Thanks Mike,

What I thought was completely opposite of this. I thought that TV networks create advertisements for its customers like for the drug manufacturer in this case. That, here network has already made an advertisement for the drug manufacturer with an actor playing a doctor in it. Manufacturer wants this advertisement to have some credibility and wants a real doctor in it and in a way so that viewers know that it is a real doctor.
Here is where my confusion was, that by asking to relax guidelines what does the manufacturer want to do.

So I just couldn't get how the manufacturer was contradicting himself.

Now as you have explained, it is the manufacturer which created these advertisements and thus it is now clear why he was contradicting himself.

But doesn't this mean we have to have a correct understanding of how things work in real life before we could answer questions like these. For me this option did not make sense because I didn't know what actually happens.
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Re: Drug manufacturer [#permalink] New post 08 Jul 2013, 11:11
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swati007 wrote:
Hi Mike,
Isnt option E also wrong because it says that tv executive questions the ability of drug manufacturer, but no where in the stimulus tv executive discusses/contends the ability of drug manufacturer?

Actually, (E) is wrong for a variety of reasons. What you cite is a valid reason. It's less important to enumerate all the reasons why it is wrong, and just recognize that it is wrong.
Mike :-)
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Re: Drug manufacturer [#permalink] New post 28 Jul 2014, 17:59
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Drug manufacturer: Television audiences are sure to realize that the " [#permalink] New post 07 Sep 2014, 12:21
Drug manufacturer: Television audiences are sure to realize that the "physician" recommending our brand of cough syrup in our advertisement is actually an actor playing a role. Hence they will not place undue trust in the advice given by this actor. Therefore, networks should relax their guidelines to permit our company to broadcast this advertisement.

Television executive: If the audience can tell that the actor is not a physician, then your advertisement need not have a physician figure recommending your product.

Which of the following is an argumentative strategy used by the television executive in response to the drug manufacturer?

A) Indicating that the reason the drug manufacturer offers for relaxing the guidelines conflicts with the manufacturer's presumed motive for presenting the image of a physician in the advertisement.
B) Asserting that the drug manufacturer's expressed desire to broadcast the advertisement is motivated by self-interest rather than by genuine interest in the good of the audience
C) Invoking subjective opinions concerning audience reaction to television advertisements as if those opinions constituted objective evidence.
D) Pointing out that the goals of the drug manufacturer's company differ from those of television networks.
E) Questioning the ability of the drug manufacturer to make any sweeping generalization about what the many different members of the audience may think.
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Drug manufacturer: Television audiences are sure to realize that the "   [#permalink] 07 Sep 2014, 12:21
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