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A year ago, Dietz Foods launched a yearlong advertising campaign for

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A year ago, Dietz Foods launched a yearlong advertising campaign for  [#permalink]

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New post 07 Feb 2010, 15:27
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A year ago, Dietz Foods launched a yearlong advertising campaign for its canned tuna. Last year Dietz sold 12 million cans of tuna compared to the 10 million sold during the previous year, an increase directly attributable to new customers brought in by the campaign. Profits from the additional sales, however, were substantially less than the cost of the advertising campaign. Clearly, therefore, the campaign did nothing to further Dietz's economic interests.

Which of the following, if true, most seriously weakens the argument?


(A) Sales of canned tuna account for a relatively small percentage of Dietz Foods' profits.

(B) Most of the people who bought Dietz's canned tuna for the first time as a result of the campaign were already loyal customers of other Dietz products.

(C) A less expensive advertising campaign would have brought in significantly fewer new customers for Dietz's canned tuna than did the campaign Dietz Foods launched last year.

(D) Dietz made money on sales of canned tuna last year.

(E) In each of the past five years, there was a steep, industry-wide decline in sales of canned tuna.


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Re: A year ago, Dietz Foods launched a yearlong advertising campaign for  [#permalink]

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New post 26 Oct 2012, 17:29
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Before we get to the logic of this question, lets understand the role a weakener should play:

A weakener decreases your belief in the conclusion. This means, that after reading the correct weakener choice and one should say that "I do not believe as strongly in the conclusion now" . Note, a weakener does not have to disprove the conclusion.

Lets now see the argument in the light of the above principle. We will first focus on the conclusion:

Conclusion: Clearly, therefore, the campaign did nothing to further Dietz's economic interests.

What does the conclusion mean: Considering that economic interests == profits, either short term or long term, the conclusion implies that the advertising campaign did not contribute to either.
Why does the author say this: The author makes this statement because the cost of the campaign is higher than the incremental sales (2 million cans), allegedly because of the campaign.

What could be some weakeners:
There could be two potential ways to weaken this argument:
1. If an answer choice projects the possibility that the campaign may have contributed for more than 2 million cans of sales.
2. If an answer choice projects the possibility that the new customers would become repeat customers; i.e. they would bring more sales in the future. Note this again means that the benefit from the campaign would be greater than the 2 million cans.

Choice E

1. Choice E projects the possibility that the campaign may have contributed for more than 2 million cans of sales. Hence is the correct choice.

Choice C


Choice C is actually completely irrelevant. lets look at choice C to understand why:
Quote:
A less expensive advertising campaign would have brought in significantly fewer new customers for Dietz's canned tuna than did the campaign Dietz Foods launched last year.


This is talking about a completely different campaign. It has nothing to do with whether the current campaign contributed to furthering Dietz's economic interests.

TakeAway: A weakener provides new information, which in the light of the information presented in the argument, reduces your belief in the conclusion. Secondly, a majority (95%+) of Weaken Questions have only one weakener.

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QOTD: A year ago, Dietz Foods launched  [#permalink]

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New post 11 Oct 2017, 06:41
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This passage has a readily identifiable conclusion, so let's start with that. We are told that, "a year ago, Dietz Foods launched a yearlong advertising campaign for its canned tuna." The conclusion of the passage is that "the campaign did nothing to further Dietz's economic interests."

How does the author arrive at that conclusion?

  • Dietz sold 12 million cans of tuna last year (while the ad campaign was running).
  • Dietz sold only 10 million cans of tuna the previous year (before the ad campaign was started).
  • We are specifically told that this increase in sales was "directly attributable to new customers brought in by the campaign." Because this information is given, we don't have to worry about whether any assumptions are required to arrive at this intermediate conclusion.
  • However, profits from these additional sales were substantially less the cost of the ad campaign.
  • Since the costs substantially exceeded the profits, the author concludes that the ad campaign did nothing to further the company's economic interests.

Now we need to find an answer choice that, if true, most seriously weakens this argument:

Quote:
(A) Sales of canned tuna account for a relatively small percentage of Dietz Foods' profits.

Last year, the cost of the ad campaign exceeded the additional profits created by the ad campaign. Based on those facts, the author concludes that the campaign did not further the company's economic interests. Regardless of the percentage of total profits accounted for by sales of canned tuna, if costs exceeded profits, according to the author, the campaign did not further the company's economic interests. Choice (A) does not interfere with this logic and can be eliminated.

Quote:
(B) Most of the people who bought Dietz's canned tuna for the first time as a result of the campaign were already loyal customers of other Dietz products.

A counterargument to the author's argument might be that the ad campaign expanded Dietz's customer base and, thus, that the initial cost of the ad campaign might be outweighed by increased profits in years to come. However, choice (B) eliminates this possible counterargument and thus strengthens the author's argument. Since we are looking for a weakening statement, choice (B) can be eliminated.

Quote:
(C) A less expensive advertising campaign would have brought in significantly fewer new customers for Dietz's canned tuna than did the campaign Dietz Foods launched last year.

Choice (C) does not change the fact that the cost of last year's ad campaign did not exceed the additional profits created by the ad campaign last year. Choice (C) does not impact the author's reasoning and, thus, can be eliminated.

Quote:
(D) Dietz made money on sales of canned tuna last year.

We are told that Dietz profited from the additional sales ("Profits from the additional sales..."). Choice (D) does not give us any new information and does not change the fact that the campaign's costs exceeded the additional profits last year. Eliminate (D).

Quote:
(E) In each of the past five years, there was a steep, industry-wide decline in sales of canned tuna.

According to the author's argument, the company would have been better off economically if it had not run the ad campaign. The ad campaign seemingly increased costs more than it increased profits. This analysis rests on the assumption that profits would have remained the same (compared to the previous year) if the ad campaign had not been run.

But what if profits would have decreased if the ad campaign had not been run? In that case, we would have to compare the cost of the ad campaign not just to the increase in profits but to the sum of the increase in profits and the potential profit loss. Perhaps the cost of the ad campaign exceeded this sum, in which case the author's logic would fail. Choice (E) allows for this possibility by suggesting that Dietz's sales of canned tuna would have been much less than 10 million if it weren't for the ad campaign.

Choice (E) most seriously weakens the author's argument and, thus, is the best answer.
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Re: A year ago, Dietz Foods launched a yearlong advertising campaign for  [#permalink]

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New post 07 Feb 2010, 15:57
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That a profit was made on tuna last year is beside the point. After all, it may well be that profits would have been higher without the campaign.

E is correct because it indicates that sales of tuna last year would likely have been much less than 10 million units had it not been for the campaign
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Re: A year ago, Dietz Foods launched a yearlong advertising campaign for  [#permalink]

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New post 07 Feb 2010, 17:09
kevincan wrote:
E is correct because it indicates that sales of tuna last year would likely have been much less than 10 million units had it not been for the campaign


But the conclusion says the campaign did nothing to improve Dietz's economic interest. How does industry wide decline of Tuna sales weaken the line of argument?
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Re: A year ago, Dietz Foods launched a yearlong advertising campaign for  [#permalink]

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New post 07 Feb 2010, 21:28
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siddhartho wrote:
kevincan wrote:
E is correct because it indicates that sales of tuna last year would likely have been much less than 10 million units had it not been for the campaign


But the conclusion says the campaign did nothing to improve Dietz's economic interest. How does industry wide decline of Tuna sales weaken the line of argument?


D really says that the company made money .. it is no where indicated that the company is under loss in the past.

E says that there is industry-wide decine in sales but this campaign actually allowed the sales to increase - which says that the campain is successful and aided selling more tuna and thereby in the companys economic interest.

E
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Re: A year ago, Dietz Foods launched a yearlong advertising campaign for  [#permalink]

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New post 07 Aug 2012, 22:44
i went for C..can someone explain why is C incorrect
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Re: A year ago, Dietz Foods launched a yearlong advertising campaign for  [#permalink]

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New post 08 Aug 2012, 06:06
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@Mohit and Dynamao

(C) A less expensive advertising campaign would have brought in significantly fewer new customers for Dietz's canned tuna than did the campaign Dietz Foods launched last year.

It tells up about the cause and effect;
expensive campaign --->more number of customers
less expensive campaign----> fewer number of customers

This may or may not be an obvious relationship.Better can be taken as an additional premise.
but we need an AC which can weaken the argument;(E) has it because it says that there was industry wise decline of tuna but somehow the campaign helped to acquire more customers though the profit was not very good.

Hope this helps !
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Re: A year ago, Dietz Foods launched a yearlong advertising campaign for  [#permalink]

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New post 13 Aug 2012, 10:32
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MohitGarg wrote:
i went for C..can someone explain why is C incorrect



Well C states that

A less expensive advertising campaign would have brought in significantly fewer new customers for Dietz's canned tuna than did the campaign Dietz Foods launched last year

Even if the less expensive campaign would have bought few customers one cannot comment whether those fewer customers would harm or do go good to the sales , its possible that fewer customers lets say 100 new customers that the less expensive one bought actually are responsible for the entire incremental sales then there is no harm to Dietz economic interest so C is discarded.
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Re: A year ago, Dietz Foods launched a yearlong advertising campaign for  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Oct 2012, 21:53
Does industry-wide mean every company company in the industry?
Because, if it does not then (E) is questionable. Since, Dietz Foods could have been an out-performer in the industry increasing sales Y-O-Y by more than 20%. But when the ad. campaign was launched it resulted in just 20% of increase in sales which is less than the more than 20% growth it was seeing earlier.

Please clarify, industry-wide?

Thank you.
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Re: A year ago, Dietz Foods launched a yearlong advertising campaign for  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Oct 2012, 01:30
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TheUntouchable wrote:
Does industry-wide mean every company company in the industry?
Because, if it does not then (E) is questionable. Since, Dietz Foods could have been an out-performer in the industry increasing sales Y-O-Y by more than 20%. But when the ad. campaign was launched it resulted in just 20% of increase in sales which is less than the more than 20% growth it was seeing earlier.

Please clarify, industry-wide?

Thank you.


In critical reasoning questions, especially these kind of questions, there is generally no one correct answer. There is a best answer and there are less than best answers; we need to pick up the best one.

You are right that generally, industry wide phenomenon need not necessarily mean that each and every company is going through that. So, when we say that airline industry is facing severe losses due to intense competition among the players, we don't really mean that every airline company is facing losses; there could be some companies who would be making profits. What we mean is that the industry, as a whole, is in red (or in other words, if we combine the profit figures of all airlines, we would have a negative figure).

However, in this question, we have to assume that Dietz food was not an outlier in the industry because of two reasons:
1. There is nothing given to suggest this
2. If we assume this, this option loses its relevance and there are no other sensible options to weaken the argument at hand. So, to have a solution, we need to avoid such assumptions, which are based more on our real life experience than the understanding of the question.

My second reason may sound a bit strange but let's assume one of the options was:

Before last year, the company had gone through five years of continuous sales decline of its canned tuna.

Now, which one would you select? I would select this option now, since this is more specific and makes almost no assumptions about the performance of the company vis-a-vis industry, unlike option E. So, in this case, you can reject E saying that it makes such assumptions but not in the original question given.

Generally, the more an option relies on assumptions, weaker the option is (in both strengthen and weaken types of questions) and has lower chance of being the answer. However, if there is no other option even related to the argument at hand, then even this weaker option can be the answer.

PS: If you think C could have been the answer, then look again into it. It used unclear words two times within one sentence: "less expensive" - how much less - 10%, 20%, 90%?; "significantly fewer new customers" - how few - 60% less, 90%, 99%? The statement is too weak to be an answer.
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Re: A year ago, Dietz Foods launched a yearlong advertising campaign for  [#permalink]

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New post 10 Aug 2013, 14:56
I am still confused about this question. By "economic interests" I would assume it means money. I understand that the campaign lead to 2 million or more cans of tuna being sold. But, if the profits of the additional cans were substantially less than the cost of the advertising campaign, how can it be said that the campaign furthered Dietz's economic interests. Please explain.
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Re: A year ago, Dietz Foods launched a yearlong advertising campaign for  [#permalink]

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New post 10 Aug 2013, 15:20
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xmizer wrote:
I am still confused about this question. By "economic interests" I would assume it means money. I understand that the campaign lead to 2 million or more cans of tuna being sold. But, if the profits of the additional cans were substantially less than the cost of the advertising campaign, how can it be said that the campaign furthered Dietz's economic interests. Please explain.


lets take 5 years as 1 2 3 4 5
year 1 =30 tuna sold
year 2 =25 tuna sold
year 3 =20 tuna sold
year 4 =15 tuna sold
year 5 =10 tuna sold
now advertising campaigncame
year 6 =12 tuna sold
since tuna selling was on a steep(was decreasing ) so increase in 2 tuna dont you think furthered economically.
hope it helps

let me know if you have doubt.
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Re: A year ago, Dietz Foods launched a yearlong advertising campaign for  [#permalink]

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New post 11 Aug 2013, 15:45
blueseas wrote:
xmizer wrote:
I am still confused about this question. By "economic interests" I would assume it means money. I understand that the campaign lead to 2 million or more cans of tuna being sold. But, if the profits of the additional cans were substantially less than the cost of the advertising campaign, how can it be said that the campaign furthered Dietz's economic interests. Please explain.


lets take 5 years as 1 2 3 4 5
year 1 =30 tuna sold
year 2 =25 tuna sold
year 3 =20 tuna sold
year 4 =15 tuna sold
year 5 =10 tuna sold
now advertising campaigncame
year 6 =12 tuna sold
since tuna selling was on a steep(was decreasing ) so increase in 2 tuna dont you think furthered economically.
hope it helps

let me know if you have doubt.


Well, if you mean "economically" as in sales, then yeah, I suppose in this case, the company is furthered economically. But I think the term "economically" is vague. It can mean market share, profits, revenue, etc. If you are talking about profits, the company is not furthered economically at all since the ad campaign costs more than the profits of the additional sales, which to me, means the ad campaign actually made the company lose money.

To highlight my point, if the company decided to give all the tuna away for free, I am sure they can sell millions more cans of tuna. They might even go bankrupt in the process but in this example, it would still consider it "furthering the company economically", since there is an increase in sales. But from a profit-motive standpoint, I fail to see how this is economically beneficial.
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Re: A year ago, Dietz Foods launched a yearlong advertising campaign for  [#permalink]

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New post 11 Aug 2013, 22:36
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xmizer wrote:
Well, if you mean "economically" as in sales, then yeah, I suppose in this case, the company is furthered economically. But I think the term "economically" is vague. It can mean market share, profits, revenue, etc. If you are talking about profits, the company is not furthered economically at all since the ad campaign costs more than the profits of the additional sales, which to me, means the ad campaign actually made the company lose money.

To highlight my point, if the company decided to give all the tuna away for free, I am sure they can sell millions more cans of tuna. They might even go bankrupt in the process but in this example, it would still consider it "furthering the company economically", since there is an increase in sales. But from a profit-motive standpoint, I fail to see how this is economically beneficial.


Hi,

In almost all cases, economic interests imply profits. A company generally cannot further its economic interests by taking a hit on its bottom line or profits. The interpretation of "economic interest" is not different in this question. It means profits.

However, Option E DOES SUGGEST that the company might have made a PROFIT from the campaign.

To understand this, you need to read the passage carefully.

A year ago, Dietz Foods launched a yearlong advertising campaign for its canned tuna. Last year Dietz sold 12 million cans of tuna compared to the 10 million sold during the previous year, an increase directly attributable to new customers brought in by the campaign. Profits from the additional sales, however, were substantially less than the cost of the advertising campaign. Clearly, therefore, the campaign did nothing to further Dietz's economic interests.

Tell me when the passage is computing the profits from "additional sales", what is the additional sales it is considering? The additional sales it is looking at is 2 million cans.

However, option E suggests that the additional sales is much more than 2 millions cans (remember the word "Steep decline").

So, if the additional sales is much more than 2 million cans, then the profits from the campaign will also be much higher than as computed in the passage. It indicates that probably, the campaign did further the economic interests (profits) of the company. This thing (indicating that the opposite of conclusion is true) is the job of a weakener and option E does that aptly.

Thanks,
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Re: A year ago, Dietz Foods launched a yearlong advertising campaign for  [#permalink]

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New post 10 Sep 2013, 12:22
@ Rajat @ e-gmat,

As expected from you, a stunning explanation. Could you please also explain this question
guillemots-are-birds-for-arctic-regions-they-feed-on-fish-82065.html
thanking in advance for your support
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Re: A year ago, Dietz Foods launched a yearlong advertising campaign for  [#permalink]

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New post 10 Sep 2013, 18:30
WaterFlowsUp wrote:
@ Rajat @ e-gmat,

As expected from you, a stunning explanation. Could you please also explain this question
guillemots-are-birds-for-arctic-regions-they-feed-on-fish-82065.html
thanking in advance for your support


Hi,

Thanks for the appreciation!

By the way, it was me, not Rajat :wink:

-Chiranjeev
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Re: A year ago, Dietz Foods launched a yearlong advertising campaign for  [#permalink]

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New post 10 Sep 2013, 22:19
@ chiranjeev :p thanks for correcting. could you please help us with mentioned link? that would of great help
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Re: A year ago, Dietz Foods launched a yearlong advertising campaign for  [#permalink]

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New post 12 Sep 2013, 03:31
WaterFlowsUp wrote:
@ chiranjeev :p thanks for correcting. could you please help us with mentioned link? that would of great help


Hi,

Surely, I can chime in. But it would be great if you can share your specific doubt on that thread because that would greatly cut down my time in responding.

Thanks,
Chiranjeev
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Re: A year ago, Dietz Foods launched a yearlong advertising campaign for  [#permalink]

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New post 21 May 2015, 06:24
A year ago, Dietz Foods launched a yearlong advertising campaign for its canned tuna. Last year Dietz sold 12 million cans of tuna compared to the 10 million sold during the previous year, an increase directly attributable to new customers brought in by the campaign. Profits from the additional sales, however, were substantially less than the cost of the advertising campaign. Clearly, therefore, the campaign did nothing to further Dietz's economic interests.
The conclusion is that the campaign was not economically beneficial because profits from sales were less than the cost of the campaign.
Which of the following, if true, most seriously weakens the argument?

(A) Sales of canned tuna account for a relatively small percentage of Dietz Foods' profits. The percentage of profit is not relevant.
(B) Most of the people who bought Dietz's canned tuna for the first time as a result of the campaign were already loyal customers of other Dietz products.Loyal customers of other products doesn't necessarily mean canned tuna profits.
(C) A less expensive advertising campaign would have brought in significantly fewer new customers for Dietz's canned tuna than did the campaign Dietz Foods launched last year. out of scope
(D) Dietz made money on sales of canned tuna last year. Last year is not relevant.
(E) In each of the past five years, there was a steep, industry-wide decline in sales of canned tuna. The industry-wide decline may have been responsible for the lower profits, rather than the effectiveness of the campaign.
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