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Author Message
Intern
Joined: 06 Jun 2017
Posts: 2

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14 Jun 2017, 04:17
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.”

This is what i wrote in 30 mins:

The argument talks about how a competing newspaper, started 5 years ago, has been the cause of decline in The Mercury’s readership. It is wrongly assumed to be due to the comparatively lower price of the new paper-The Bugle. Moreover, their plan to increase readership is by reducing the current price, which they feel will attract businesses to buy ad space, hence solving their problem. This argument is flawed and therefore their plan cannot guarantee any success.

Firstly, the argument asserts that the decline in The Mercury’s circulation by 10,000 readers is because of the new low priced paper. This is an assumption, not backed by any proof. Therefore, it is wrong to assume that this cause and effect relationship holds true. The decline in circulation could’ve been for multiple reasons, unrelated to the new newspaper in the market. For instance, the delivery and transportation system in certain areas could be inefficient, which eventually might have led to the reader’s switching to another paper, not specifically The Bugle.

Secondly, it is further assumed that reducing the price will increase The Mercury’s circulation. This might be a problem if the actual problem isn’t the cost of the paper. As stated in the example above, if transportation and delivery is the problem, the lower price will not encourage any potential readers to subscribe to this paper. The actual problem will remain unsolved. Thus, the lowering of the price won’t necessarily increase the circulation.

Lastly, another unwarranted assumption is made that the new increased circulation will lead to more businesses buying ad space in the paper. This could’ve been the case if the previous argument that this is based on, was correct. Unfortunately, it isn’t the case. There can be no guarantee that this will work as planned, making the conclusion invalid.

As the given argument makes baseless assumptions and doesn’t provide any solid proof for the same, their plan to save the paper and increase circulation may not work. If any extra information or proof was provided, it would’ve made the argument more sound and convincing.
Board of Directors
Joined: 01 Sep 2010
Posts: 3283

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14 Jun 2017, 04:47
Top Contributor
I would say really good and write a bit more: longer.

For the rest is really good >5

regards
_________________
Intern
Joined: 20 Aug 2017
Posts: 5

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17 Apr 2018, 09:54

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.”

This is what i wrote in 30 mins:

The argument presented by the publisher that decrease in the price of the newspaper ‘The Mercury’ to lower than that of ‘The Bugle’ will lead to increased circulation and therefore more advertising is vague and unsubstantiated. The publisher offers no evidence or statistics to support his claim.
There is no mention of whether the newspapers ‘The Mercury’ or ‘The Bugle’ cater to the same market. Simply saying that they are competing low priced newspapers makes the argument of the publisher very weak. It may be highly likely that ‘The Bugle’ is a newspaper which caters to more of a business audience and ‘The Mercury’ is a newspaper which specializes in reporting local events. In such a case, the comparison is completely un-justified and wrong because both these newspapers cater to two different set of customers with different purchasing capacities.
The argument presented by the publisher rests of the premise that decrease in price of ‘The Mercury’ to a level lower than that of ‘The Bugle’ will increase the circulation of ‘The Mercury’. This statement implies that the circulation of ‘The Mercury’ decreased only on account of its pricing. It may very well be the case that the decrease in circulation was on account of poor quality of articles appearing in ‘ The Mercury’. The readership of ‘The Mercury’ simply decreased as readers were not satisfied with the reporting standards or the content. Thus, instead of improving its editorial and reporting team, the publisher plans to decrease the price of the newspaper. It might be the case that in the area that ‘The Mercury’ operates in, the consumers are not price-sensitive and willing to pay for good-quality reporting. The publisher offers no evidence or facts to address the above mentioned issues. This substantially weakens the argument as it breaks the entire premise on the which the course of action is based.
The publisher is also of the view that increased circulation will lead to more businesses buying advertising space in the newspaper. This argument is also thoroughly unsubstantiated as publisher doesn’t point to any concrete roadmap to increase circulation. Further, in today’s age of cutthroat competition, newspapers and magazines carve out a specific niche for themselves and thus target specific advertisers. This is no mention of what sort of businesses ‘The Mercury’ plans to attract to buy its advertising space.

Thus, it can be seen from the above critique that the argument presented by the publisher not only lacks substance but also any sort of proper analysis or roadmap to achieve its specified objective. Because the argument leaves out a whole of key issues, it is neither sound nor convincing. On the other hand, if the above mentioned issues were discussed , the argument would have been more thorough and convincing. The argument in its current form is based on a whole lot of wishful thinking and a whole lot of ‘ifs and buts’.
Manager
Joined: 21 Jul 2017
Posts: 192
Location: India
GMAT 1: 660 Q47 V34
GPA: 4
WE: Project Management (Education)

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17 Apr 2018, 09:59
leo125 wrote:

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.”

This is what i wrote in 30 mins:

The argument presented by the publisher that decrease in the price of the newspaper ‘The Mercury’ to lower than that of ‘The Bugle’ will lead to increased circulation and therefore more advertising is vague and unsubstantiated. The publisher offers no evidence or statistics to support his claim.
There is no mention of whether the newspapers ‘The Mercury’ or ‘The Bugle’ cater to the same market. Simply saying that they are competing low priced newspapers makes the argument of the publisher very weak. It may be highly likely that ‘The Bugle’ is a newspaper which caters to more of a business audience and ‘The Mercury’ is a newspaper which specializes in reporting local events. In such a case, the comparison is completely un-justified and wrong because both these newspapers cater to two different set of customers with different purchasing capacities.
The argument presented by the publisher rests of the premise that decrease in price of ‘The Mercury’ to a level lower than that of ‘The Bugle’ will increase the circulation of ‘The Mercury’. This statement implies that the circulation of ‘The Mercury’ decreased only on account of its pricing. It may very well be the case that the decrease in circulation was on account of poor quality of articles appearing in ‘ The Mercury’. The readership of ‘The Mercury’ simply decreased as readers were not satisfied with the reporting standards or the content. Thus, instead of improving its editorial and reporting team, the publisher plans to decrease the price of the newspaper. It might be the case that in the area that ‘The Mercury’ operates in, the consumers are not price-sensitive and willing to pay for good-quality reporting. The publisher offers no evidence or facts to address the above-mentioned issues. This substantially weakens the argument as it breaks the entire premise on the which the course of action is based.

The publisher is also of the view that increased circulation will lead to more businesses buying advertising space in the newspaper. This argument is also thoroughly unsubstantiated as publisher doesn’t point to any concrete roadmap to increase circulation. Further, in today’s age of cutthroat competition, newspapers and magazines carve out a specific niche for themselves and thus target specific advertisers. This is no mention of what sort of businesses ‘The Mercury’ plans to attract to buy its advertising space.

Thus, it can be seen from the above critique that the argument presented by the publisher not only lacks substance but also any sort of proper analysis or roadmap to achieve its specified objective. Because the argument leaves out a whole of key issues, it is neither sound nor convincing. On the other hand, if the above mentioned issues were discussed , the argument would have been more thorough and convincing. The argument in its current form is based on a whole lot of wishful thinking and a whole lot of ‘ifs and buts’.

Break the third argument in a paragraph too. Nicely done AWA. Score definitely 5.5 (I scored a 5.5 on GMAT )
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