Microsoft word - english_b.doc

Variant B

Task 1. Reading Comprehension (5 points)

Read the following article and mark the statements as True or False
Pricing is the second of the four “Ps” of the marketing mix. Much innovation and energy has been
focused on the other three “Ps” - product, place (or distribution) and promotion. Yet marketers have
neglected the innovative potential of pricing. For example, managers need to develop a keen sense
of the value of their products relative to those of competitors. Lower-priced competitors can
severely damage customers' perceptions of value in an industry by encouraging customers to make
lower prices the priority rather than any product or service benefits.
The emergence of discount airlines is a prime example of this: Southwest Airlines, the highly
successful low-cost US airline, increased its share of domestic flight revenue from 3,2% in 1990 to
12,9% in 2002. Ryanair and EasyJet have seen similar success in Europe. However, competitors can
fight back. Jet Blue – launched in February 2000 in New York – does not offer the lowest fares on
the market, yet succeeds via a benefit-led advertising message to consumers. It trades on such
features as its in-flight comforts, 24 channels of DirecTV and industry-leading punctuality. In July
2004 Jet Blue delivered its 14th consecutive quarter of profit and a 14,1% operating margin.
Bottled water brands have always faced low-priced competition – namely tap water – yet have seen
remarkable growth in the past decade by differentiation and a focus on benefits. Own-label brands
from supermarkets grew by 19% in the UK market in 2003. Danone Waters launched Volvic
Revive, a mineral water based sports drink, and grew by 29% in 2003. Other big brands focused on
different qualities. Evian’s Nomad bottle, aimed at outdoor types, carries a belt loop, while
Lakeland Willows’ Spring Water contains salacin, a naturally occurring aspirin, which combats
heart disease. If they offer genuine value to consumers, such benefits allow producers to sustain or
raise prices.
Misperceptions are particularly common in product launches, where managers often set the price of
new products too low. Take a historical example. In August 1959, the British Motor Corporation
lost its nerve on the eve of the original launch of the Mini, reducing the planned list price to just
below the 500-pound level – the level of perceived psychological importance. The car was an
instant sales success and demand outstripped supply. However, profitability was so low over the
early years that it was hard for the company to invest in the car’s subsequent development.
From the Financial Times
1. A lot of work has been done on product, place and promotion. T F
2. Marketers have thought hard about pricing for a long time. T F
3. Managers need to follow competing companies’ prices. T F
4. Low-price competition in an industry is always a good thing. T F
5. Southwest is a traditional airline. T F
Task 2. Fill the gaps in the following text with only one word in each space (15 points)

Noise pollution
Studies carried (0) out in Britain recently (1)___________ shown that day to day noise levels can
have a serious effect (2)__________ health and well-being.
The main source of noise-related problems comes (3)__________ neighbours: shouting, television,
playing musical instruments and noisy parties are among the (4)____________ common complaints
to police and local authorities. (5)__________ ten years ago those affected by noise
(6)____________ complain to the noisy neighbour first, nowadays people prefer to go straight to the police (7)____________ than face possible verbal abuse from the noise-makers themselves. In many cases, once a complaint has been (8)___________ to the authorities, the complainant is asked to keep a diary, in (9)_______________ they note down the times excessive noise is made, the type of noise it is, as (10)___________ as a comment about the volume. Health officers will then be sent (11)______________ measure the noise level and if the local Department of Environmental Health feels the complaint is justified, they will make certain recommendations. (12)_________ may include a total ban on noise between 11pm and 7am or a limit as to the number of parties the noisy neighbours can give (13)__________ year. Although this usually goes some way to satisfy those people who have (14)___________ to suffer excessive noise, for a few it is much (15)____________ late: depression, nervous disorders and even divorce have all been blamed on the stress caused by noisy neighbours.


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