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Please evaluate my essay - Q4 The Bugle vs The Mercury

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Joined: 18 May 2012
Posts: 64
Concentration: Finance, Marketing
GMAT 1: 600 Q47 V25
GMAT 2: 670 Q49 V32
GMAT 3: 750 Q50 V41
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Please evaluate my essay - Q4 The Bugle vs The Mercury [#permalink] New post 10 Jul 2013, 09:36
Hi - I would really appreciate if someone could point out the deficiencies. I am not used to writing passages and struggle to put the ideas down in :30 mins :(
<------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------->
The following appeared in an announcement issued by the publisher of The Mercury, a weekly newspaper:

“Since a competing lower-priced newspaper, The Bugle, was started five years ago, The Mercury’s circulation has declined by 10,000 readers. The best way to get more people to read The Mercury is to reduce its price below that of The Bugle, at least until circulation increases to former levels. The increased circulation of The Mercury will attract more businesses to buy advertising space in the paper.”

Discuss how well reasoned . . . etc.
<------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------->
The argument as stated above claims that the best way for The Mercury to increase its readership is to reduce its price below that of The Bugle, a competing lower priced newspaper. Ultimately the increased circulation of the Mercury will attract more businesses to buy advertising space in the paper. To arrive at this conclusion the argument relies upon several assumptions that are not only overreaching but also poorly substantiated. The argument also fails to consider other factors that, if not more, may be equally important to achieve the desired goal.

First the argument assumes that the only reason The Mercury lost some of its readers was because of the lower price of The Bugle, however there is no reason to believe that other factors such as decline in the quality of the content, poor distribution network etc. could be equally responsible for this decline. For instance, It is possible that Bugle was not only able to maintain a lower price but also setup an affective distribution network that customer came to prefer and thus, switched over from The Mercury. Moreover it is possible that the Bugle was able to lure some of the key employees from The Mercury, and as a result the quality of the content or of the newspaper itself suffered at The Mercury. Since the argument does not provide any information to reject these claims, it is vulnerable to attack.

Second, the argument states that the best way for The Mercury to increase its readership is to reduce its price below that of The Bugle. Although this suggestion looks convincing on the surface, it leaves us with the question – why The Mercury will not be able to regain the lost customer by reducing its price to that of the Bugle?
Surely, if The Mercury was preferred by customers over the Bugle, and the only reason they switched over was because of the price, then charging the same price should win them back. Since, the author of the argument does not believe this to be true, we cannot conclude with conviction that there are no other shortcomings that the newspaper must overcome to increase its circulation.

Third, the argument assumes that by increasing its circulation, The Mercury will be able to attract more businesses to buy advertising. Although this may seem logical, the argument fails to take into account how the competing newspapers will respond. For instance The Bugle may choose to lower its pricing for advertising space or it may lower the price of its newspaper even further. In either case The Mercury will have to respond with further price cuts, which may not be feasible for the company. Thus the argument would be less vulnerable, if it addressed these issues.

In conclusion, the argument is weak and open to several attacks. The author could strengthen the argument by taking into account the various shortcomings highlighted above.
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Please evaluate my essay - Q4 The Bugle vs The Mercury   [#permalink] 10 Jul 2013, 09:36
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Please evaluate my essay - Q4 The Bugle vs The Mercury

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