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Author Message
Intern
Joined: 30 Jul 2010
Posts: 6

Kudos [?]: 3 [2], given: 0

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23 Aug 2010, 00:45
2
KUDOS
1
This post was
BOOKMARKED
Argument:
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.

Analysis:
Argument claims that The Mercury Newspaper should lower its price to increase circulation, thereby, increasing profits because a wider readership attracts more advertisements. Argument fails to consider key factors, on the basis of which argument can be evaluated. Argument relies on assumptions, for which there is no clear evident. Hence argument is rather weak, unconvincing and has several flaws.

Primarily, the argument readily assumes that decline in the circulation of newspaper The Mucrucry is only because of competing newspaper The Bigul’s low price. Author fails to consider other possible reasons for the decline. For example, decline of circulation could be due to major customer base of The Mucrucry changing their preference of news reading to another medium like internet, wherein they can get all the updates immediately and no need to wait until next day for fresh news. Or it could be because of recent change in newspaper format. There are various possible reasons which can result in decline of newspaper circulation. Author has simply assumed that lower price of competing newspaper is the only reason.

Secondly, the argument claims that reduction in price will increase the circulation. Author fails to mention the basis to support this line of reasoning. Reduction of price may have negative effect as well. For instance, the recent survey published by leading Business magazine concluded that cheaper does not always attract more customers. Survey asked people if they will buy “Nano”, world’s cheapest car, many people declined saying that they think “Nano” as as symbol of low status. Specifically, cheaper price may create doubt in customers mind about quality of newspaper and they may find it misaligned to their status. Author hasn’t considered this important factor.

Finally, the argument concludes that lower price will increase circulation and as a result attract more advertisements. More circulation, more advertisements this logic looks fine on face values but on closer observation, one can realize that it may not be the case. Advertisers may prefer the newspaper which has reach among wide demography or newspaper with customer base which matches the potential customer base of their business.

In summary, argument is flawed and therefore unconvincing. To strengthen the argument, the author must identify and explore relevant factors beyond cost before concluding that lowering subscription price will increase circulation and, thereby, increase advertising revenues.

Kudos [?]: 3 [2], given: 0

Retired Moderator
Status: The last round
Joined: 18 Jun 2009
Posts: 1292

Kudos [?]: 1218 [0], given: 157

Concentration: Strategy, General Management
GMAT 1: 680 Q48 V34

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23 Aug 2010, 21:08
1
This post was
BOOKMARKED
Looks fine to me, though some grammatical mistakes are there.

Also, do add this sentence in the last para, " Had the author answered the queries raised in above paras, the argument would have been logically more sound".
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Kudos [?]: 1218 [0], given: 157

Manager
Joined: 17 Nov 2009
Posts: 235

Kudos [?]: 59 [0], given: 17

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08 Sep 2010, 12:01
Looks good. Just brush up language and enhance writing style.

Kudos [?]: 59 [0], given: 17

Current Student
Joined: 12 Jun 2009
Posts: 1837

Kudos [?]: 273 [0], given: 52

Location: United States (NC)
Concentration: Strategy, Finance
Schools: UNC (Kenan-Flagler) - Class of 2013
GMAT 1: 720 Q49 V39
WE: Programming (Computer Software)

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08 Sep 2010, 21:57
i think intro should include briefly what your body paragraph going to be
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Kudos [?]: 273 [0], given: 52

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Joined: 01 Oct 2013
Posts: 10117

Kudos [?]: 261 [0], given: 0

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05 Jan 2016, 00:02
Hello from the GMAT Club VerbalBot!

Thanks to another GMAT Club member, I have just discovered this valuable topic, yet it had no discussion for over a year. I am now bumping it up - doing my job. I think you may find it valuable (esp those replies with Kudos).

Want to see all other topics I dig out? Follow me (click follow button on profile). You will receive a summary of all topics I bump in your profile area as well as via email.

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Intern
Joined: 09 Oct 2015
Posts: 49

Kudos [?]: 13 [0], given: 15

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21 Jul 2016, 14:11
Hi Team,

I have just started my Awa journey and this is my very first analysis. Can somebody have a look at the following and let me know how else to improve ?

The argument claims that the circulation of “the Mercury” has declined because a of a lower priced newspaper available in the market and if “the mercury” lowers its price then they should be able to increase their circulation. The argumnet concludes that by taking into account only one differentiating factor between the two newspapers. Stated in this way the argument relies on the assumptions for which there is no proper statistical proof. Hence the argument is weak and has several flaws.

Firstly the argument readily assumes that the price is the only factor that has led to the decline in the circulation. What we need to look at instead is whether the reader find the quality of the content published in the new newspaper better ? in the event the better quality is the concern then even if “the mercury” reduces the price, it wont be able to achieve its goals. What “the mercury” will then need to do is have better writers and reporters.

Secondly what we also need to understand is whether the preference of the readers ,with respect to the type of information, has changed over the last five years. It is highly possible that the new newspaper adapted the style of publishing to the changing customers’ preferneces. In such a scenario “the mercury” will need to bring new perpective to its style of publishing and take corrective actions.

Finally the author has assumed that by reducing the price of the newspaper alone “the mercury” will be able to regain its circulation levels. The author needs to do a proper root cause analysis as the reasons behind the decline could just be more than one.

In conclusion, the argument is imperfect for the above mentioned reasons and is therefore unpersuasive.

Kudos [?]: 13 [0], given: 15

Intern
Joined: 21 Sep 2016
Posts: 41

Kudos [?]: 5 [1], given: 20

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21 Feb 2017, 20:28
1
KUDOS
Same argument as above:

“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 circulationn of The Mercury will attract more businesses to buy advertising space in the paper.”

The argument claims that it is recommended to reduce the price of Mercury newspaper below the price of a competing newspaper, The Bugle. This recommendation respond to a severe decline in circulation of Mercury newspaper during the 5-year period following the introduction of The Bugle. Stated in this way the publisher assumes that lowering the price of The Mercury will increase its readership thereby increasing profits because a wider readership attracts more advertisers and instead fails to mention several key factors, on the basis of which it could be evaluated. The conclusion of the argument relies on the assumptions for which there is no clear evidence. Hence, the argument is unconvincing and has several flaws.

Firstly the argument readily assumes that lowering the subscription price of will increase circulation of newspaper and would make the paper more attractive to the potential advertisers. This statement is a stretch its not obvious that lowering subscription price is the most effective way to gain the new readers. For example, The Mercury could be the established local newspaper, it is unlikely that such a mass exodus of its readers would be explained by subscription price alone. Clearly, with this differentiation of being locally established paper is less of attraction than The Bugle. The argument could have been much clearer if it explicitly stated that both the papers contain local as well as international news and are not differentiated on these grounds than it would be evaluated more properly.

Second, the argument claims that due to its unpopularity or high price, it is rarely attracted by businessmen for advertisements. This is again a very weak and unsupported claim as the argument does not demonstrate any correlation between unpopularity and lack of advertisements in The Mercury. To illustrate, there are many other factors that might account for a decline in The Mercury’s unpopularity. For instance, readers might be displeased with the extent and accuracy of its news reporting, or the balance of local to other news coverage. Moreover, it is possible The Mercury has recently changed editors, giving the paper a locally unpopular political perspective. Or perhaps readers are unhappy with the paper’s format, the timeliness of its feature articles, its comics or advice columns, the extent and accuracy of its local event calendar, or its rate of errors. If the argument had provided evidence for defined above reasons then the argument would have been a lot more convincing.

Finally based upon above scenarios, how can publisher be so sure that increasing circulation will attract more businessmen for advertisement? Will reducing the subscription price affect the popularity? Without convincing answer to these questions, one is left with the impression that the claim is more of a wishful thinking rather than the substantive evidence.

In conclusion, the argument is flawed for the above mentioned reasons and is therefore unconvincing. It could be considerably strengthen if the author clearly mentions all the relevant facts that there is a strong connection between the price of the paper and its popularity. In order to assess the merits of a certain situation, it is essential to have full knowledge of all contributing factors. In this particular case author must identify and explore relevant factors beyond cost before concluding that lowering subscription prices will increase circulation and, thereby, increasing advertising revenue. Without this information, the argument remains unsubstantiated and open for debate.

Kudos [?]: 5 [1], given: 20

Intern
Joined: 29 Nov 2015
Posts: 6

Kudos [?]: 7 [1], given: 17

Location: India
WE: Sales (Consumer Products)

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04 Oct 2017, 02:04
1
KUDOS
“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.
.

In the given excerpt of announcement issued by the publisher of The Mercury, a weekly newspaper, the publisher has claimed that reduction in the price of their paper below to that of competing newspaper, The Bugle would increase circulation of their paper. To support his claim he has added that the increased circulation would attract more businesses for advertising space in their paper. The argument is likely to fail due flaws in the reasoning.

At first, it has been assumed that being higher priced than mercury is the only reason for the loss of business for The Mercury. What if the content of the weekly newspaper is the reason behind loss of readership? There are several other factors other than price which might be the reason for the competing newspaper to attract more readership. Therefore proper reasoning as for why the five year old newspaper has got popular is missing that would make the argument misleading.

Secondly, The Bugle is the primary reason for the publisher to claim decline in the circulation by 10,000. A loss for The Mercury is The Bugle's gain, as assumed by the publisher, which might not be a mandatory case. It might be one of the reasons though but enough evidence citing the claim is absent making the argument preposterous.

Moreover, attracting more businesses to buy advertising space in the paper by just achieving former levels of circulation cannot be justified because reducing the cost might also have reduction in the number of pages or content reduction which might not work for The Mercury.

To conclude, the publishers claim could be true as The Bugle being lower-priced newspaper is one kind of upper hand in the business. But at the same time the line of reasoning is weak and therefore for various reasons the argument is not very convincing as the author has made some questionable assumptions that may or may not be true, given the data provided.

Kudos [?]: 7 [1], given: 17

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