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Eat & Drink

The Beer Store wants to scare you

Posted by Derek Flack / April 16, 2014

Beer store adThe Beer Store is really worried that one day alcohol might be sold in convenience stores, which, you know, would put a damper on its partial control of fun in this province. As part of its campaign against this possibility (the sum of which you can find on the "Ontario Beer Facts" website), it's released a new ad meant to strike fear in the hearts of anxious straight edge-types and parents everywhere. In it, a group of underage-looking dudes confidently stock up on booze at a local store without getting carded by the guy working the counter, who repeatedly refers to them as "boys" by way of encouraging their purchases.

I love this ad. First, because I envy those kids. They look like they're about to have a good time. And second, because I remember buying booze as an under-ager. It was a pain in the ass. Whether it be shoulder-tapping or fake IDs, much time was spent manoeuvring to buy alcohol. But, guess what? It always worked. Despite the lack of availability of booze at corner stores, we never went thirsty.

Would making booze available in convenience stores lead to the scenario depicted in this delightfully entertaining ad? It's unlikely at best. And fear-mongering like this only serves to make the Beer Store look both out of touch and paranoid...paranoid that its reign over beer sales is at risk, not the health of minors.



Chester / April 16, 2014 at 01:52 pm
I don't remember my good old tax dollars going to such propaganda. That's a funny ad, they should of teamed up with D.A.R.E. and had the cashier say, now go around back boys my dark friend has some crack for you.
Vinnie / April 16, 2014 at 01:58 pm
what's really funny is that this is pretty much the exact tone of the HarperCon's various "don't vote for Trudeau, he wants to make it easy for the children to buy weed" commercials.
Mark / April 16, 2014 at 02:03 pm
When I was a under 19 I never had a problem buying beer myself at the Beer store or LCBO. Was never ID'd by these so-called protectors of our kids. Convenience stores ID for cigarettes. They can do the same for beer. It's not rocket science.
Orson / April 16, 2014 at 02:04 pm
The pharmacies said the same thing about mouthwash when I was a kid. Now look at me!

Or rather, now smell me.
jae replying to a comment from Chester / April 16, 2014 at 02:05 pm
The Beer Store is owned by beer companies, not the government.
The Ripper / April 16, 2014 at 02:11 pm
It's not the underaged kids I'm worried about, it's when a guy with a gun walks in and decides he's thirsty and doesn't want to pay - is it worth the store employee's life over a bottle of booze?
Ando / April 16, 2014 at 02:13 pm
The Beer Store IS owned by beer companies and they have a vested interest (due to their monopoly) to take every step possible to keep beer sales away from private retailers.

Their fear mongering is the only weapon they have to try to convince Ontarioans that a monopolized retailer is the best solution for us and we'd be doomed with out it.

This isn't Russia or North Korea, Ontario should be able to buy beer wherever they want. F*ck the BeerStore and their monopoly.
Joseph / April 16, 2014 at 02:14 pm
Between the age of 15 and 18 I bought alcohol from the Beer Store AND the LCBO a ridiculous number of times without being carded and successfully had a night of binge drinking and poor decision making.

This ad is useless and completely bogus, the government is pretending this is the reason why they want to regulate alcohol when we already know the truth...
bob hoskins / April 16, 2014 at 02:15 pm
tasty beer.
Matt replying to a comment from The Ripper / April 16, 2014 at 02:15 pm
Uh…can’t they just do that now? Pretty sure there’s nothing special about the Beer Store or LCBO that stops people from carrying guns in.
BS / April 16, 2014 at 02:20 pm
In May 2011, a study[34] was conducted by Statopex Field Marketing on behalf of the Ontario Convenience Stores Association and found that the LCBO fared poorly when checking for age of minors. Minors between the age of 15 and 18 were used to determine how often LCBO store staff would check for ID before selling alcohol. The test determined that 1 in 4 minors were able to purchase beer at the LCBO without ID. This was poorer than the results shown for The Beer Store, where 1 in 5 minors could purchase beer, or chain convenience stores in Ontario where as few as 1 in 8 could purchase tobacco.

So convenience stores are the best at checking ID???? NIce ad shit stains.
Tom Kane / April 16, 2014 at 02:27 pm
I never shop at "The Beer Store." The number of bottles per pack may be limited at LCBO but I know I can find "craft beers," and the stores are cleaner. I leave the bottles for the night-time scroungers.
bud replying to a comment from jae / April 16, 2014 at 02:35 pm
You're just plain wrong. The Beer Store in Ontario is government-operated.
Joey / April 16, 2014 at 02:38 pm
Put me down as another person who successfully purchased beer at The Beer Store when he was underage. I had my fake ID all ready to go, and a big speech prepared about "I'm 19 now and I can buy beer, this is discrimination, etc". Turned out I didn't need either.
GRBY / April 16, 2014 at 02:40 pm
F#ck the Beer Store and their communist style monopoly on our Province. This isn't Russia. We deserve to buy beer, wine and booze freely without their ridiculous surcharges and outrageous government salaries. I know someone that manages an LCBO. He got the job due to nepotism. He has no formal education, and he makes over 130k per year. Thats why local Canadian beer can cost you $13.00 for 6 pack.
Montrealer / April 16, 2014 at 02:45 pm
In Québec, beer has been available in corner stores (dépanneurs) for as long as I can remember. The cashiers ask people for ID. Plus the government sends mystery shoppers to make sure that cashiers card people properly, and dépanneurs get huge fines if they get caught.
keven / April 16, 2014 at 02:47 pm
Anyone saying "this isn't Russia" has never been to Russia. You can buy alcohol from street vendors and drink till your heart's content.
4ChanApologist replying to a comment from bud / April 16, 2014 at 02:47 pm
The Beer Store (formerly Brewer's Retail) is neither government owned nor operated. From wikipedia: It's "a private and foreign owned chain of retail outlets selling beer in the province of Ontario, founded in 1927. Owned at its inception by a consortium of Ontario-based brewers, subsequent national and international consolidation has resulted in control now being shared by three multinational brewing companies, each of which is at least 50% controlled by non-Canadian interests"

The more you know.
James replying to a comment from The Ripper / April 16, 2014 at 02:56 pm
Right because that happens all the time nowhere ever.
Will replying to a comment from jae / April 16, 2014 at 03:06 pm
Stupidest thing I've even read jae
ed / April 16, 2014 at 03:16 pm
Yes we used to just call dial a bottle and have it delivered to the house. Keep the porch light off so its dark, they never checked ID
Long weekender / April 16, 2014 at 03:29 pm
Those tv commercials are lame. Underaged drinkers will find a way to purchase beer regardless. I really hope they allow corner stores to sell. I'll pay the extra buck for the convenience of obtaining beer seconds from my house.
Richard / April 16, 2014 at 03:50 pm
Some people need to google before they try to correct others. This is for Bud, from the
We have a pretty good head start, actually… after all, we’ve been around since 1927. We also have some pretty impressive pedigree given that we’re owned by Labatt Brewing Company Ltd., Molson Coors Canada and Sleeman Breweries Ltd.
Mark / April 16, 2014 at 04:01 pm
The most unbelievable aspect of that ad was the white guy working in a convenience store. When was the last time you actually saw that?
Poopdawg replying to a comment from Mark / April 16, 2014 at 04:13 pm
Jeff replying to a comment from bud / April 16, 2014 at 04:24 pm
Where did you get that idea from?

"We have a pretty good head start, actually… after all, we’ve been around since 1927. We also have some pretty impressive pedigree given that we’re owned by Labatt Brewing Company Ltd., Molson Coors Canada and Sleeman Breweries Ltd."
chester / April 16, 2014 at 04:26 pm
The twitter reaction to this is so funny.
Ell / April 16, 2014 at 04:29 pm
in Russia, Beer drinks you!
Spanky / April 16, 2014 at 04:54 pm
Actually The Beer Store is owned by FOREIGN beer makers. They're not even Canadian. As usual the government has sold us out to foreign corporate interests.
Husa replying to a comment from bud / April 16, 2014 at 04:56 pm
Sorry, it's owned by the big beer guys. Regulated by the government but owned by the beer monopolies. WHY DO YOU THINK THEIR ADS GO HEAD TO HEAD AGAINST THE LCBO as to which place you should purchase your beer?
Dennis Logan / April 16, 2014 at 05:07 pm
so, who's going to counter this by rounding up a few minors and filming them get beer at the beer store without ID?

Because I used to do that a lot when I was 18.
Damien / April 16, 2014 at 05:16 pm
Beer? It's for straight people. Pass!

Jasper / April 16, 2014 at 05:17 pm
If you're really all that concerned that alcohol won't be readily available 24hrs/day at your local convenience store then you have a drinking problem.
v79 / April 16, 2014 at 05:28 pm
In my youth I was I.D.ed a grand total of two times, both at the LCBO, not once at a Beer Store. Independent studies already show that convenience stores do a better job of carding kids for cigarettes than the BS and LCBO do for booze, and agency convenience stores in rural areas have been selling alcohol for decades without any problems. This is nothing more than unsubstantiated fear mongering by foreign companies scared of losing their government mandated monopoly.
Damien replying to a comment from Jasper / April 16, 2014 at 05:35 pm
No one said 24 hours a day but you, just convenience thanks.

Rory / April 16, 2014 at 05:57 pm
Who's going to counter this by filming Toronto's ultra Hipster adults drinking in Bellwoods park, showing how to be cool to the underage kids in the park. Wanna be cool, must have cool attire and beer in hand to hang out with the cool kids
Chris / April 16, 2014 at 06:13 pm
The beer store employee, making near minimum wage, is less likely to care about selling a minor beer. But the local corner store gives a shit about having to pay a huge fine if caught selling it to minors, just like cigarettes.
jim / April 16, 2014 at 06:50 pm
First of all, the beer store is a privately owned company that is regulated by the government. It is owned by the breweries Molsons, Labatt and See man's. These breweries are partially foreign owned.
What some of you are forgetting is that the "beer store" is non profit. Really, it is. The profit goes to the breweries. Now to put it in a local convenience store that owner is going to want to make a profit. That is understandable. The problem with this is as follows. The beer will be distributed by the beer store to the the convenience store at the same price that it was paid for by the beer store plus a small delivery charge. Now here lies the problem. Same price plus delivery plus the markup from the convenience store means what? It means the price of beer just went up about 15-20%.
Now I don't know about you but beer is to expensive as it is and that's because of the taxes we pay on beer in Ontario. The beer store is run mostly on part time workers making a minimum wage to to start with. So think before you speak about it. It is a private company. It can't be dismantled like the LOBO. The rules can change but private industry still runs how it's distrubuted. If the beer stores distribution was not profitable to the Brewers, they would have dismantled the system 50,60,70 years ago.
Think / April 16, 2014 at 07:25 pm
What ever happen to making it yourself? !!!!!!
bob hoskins / April 16, 2014 at 07:27 pm
bout time Canada relaxed it's ass-clenching, hand wringing laws about selling booze in stores.
andrew / April 16, 2014 at 07:33 pm
Look no further than Quebec to see that selling beer at corner stores is not going to bring about these doomsday scenarios. Then look at Europe, while you're looking. South Korea? Beer in all convenience stores.

These "beer facts" are actually bald-faced lies -- the proof is in the pudding, and most of the developed world is the pudding.
Fact check / April 16, 2014 at 07:40 pm
The Beer Store is 100% privately owned. Quoting from:

"We have a pretty good head start, actually… after all, we’ve been around since 1927. We also have some pretty impressive pedigree given that we’re owned by Labatt Brewing Company Ltd., Molson Coors Canada and Sleeman Breweries Ltd."

The LCBO is government owned but doesn't front as anything but, they get great variety. I would argue about some of the prices, but compared to NFLD or NWT the prices are great. They also stock great products, which if we look at the Deps in Quebec very few do. It's mostly garbage wine and mediocre beer, there are however a small group of retailers that have made good beer and wine their business and the selection is incredible.

Dump the LCBO, no it makes us money and does a good job.

Kill the beer store, yes. It just make profits for corporations.

This has nothing to do with youth or government control. This has everything to do with contracts signed with the Beer Store by the Mike Harris Conservatives to extend their control on beer sales in the province.

I hate comment forums, but sometimes need to correct some of the relentless factual errors spewed by the tea party style right.
Fact check / April 16, 2014 at 07:45 pm
In other things, after we shut down the Beer Store monopoly run by corporations, why not offer tax incentives to local craft beer producers to expand their operations - on the condition they remain independent and Ontario based. We have incredible brewing talent here let's help our small brewers get back the money these multinationals have extracted from us over the years.
flob replying to a comment from bud / April 16, 2014 at 07:49 pm
You, sir, are either an idiot or confusing the Beer Store with the LCBO.
beer everywhere / April 16, 2014 at 08:20 pm
what about using taking some of the beer store money to create an international campaign supporting ontario craft beer.
Steve replying to a comment from beer everywhere / April 16, 2014 at 08:49 pm
Well here's the thing if youve read the comments The Beer store is owned by Labatt Brewing Company Ltd., Molson Coors Canada and Sleeman Breweries Ltd..

The Beer store doesn't carry your local craft brews, why would the big three want to promote other beers that aren't their own?
Ell / April 16, 2014 at 09:26 pm
In Russia, you ID clerk!
marshall / April 16, 2014 at 09:37 pm
Your all following guide lines ! You all drive the speed limit you all pay insurance you all pay tax on your pay then on every thing you all buy open your eyes especially you parents who think beer in a convince store is a bad idea your kids drink if not they fuck if not they smoke get a grip and focus on showing your kid how to be responsible cuz it isnot the beer or smokes or weed or sex thats the problem it comes down to how your raised and individuality (deal with it its a fact ) you dont wanna agree your proving my point go on tell me what this guy said or what that guy said or this study said once again your makeing a statement on what you where taught !
Drew / April 16, 2014 at 09:53 pm
I agree Marshall But the system is here to save and protect us and our children so parents don't have to take responsibility. Pay for Invitro so we can have kids. Feed our kids breakfast in school so parents don't have to spend $0.10 a day on cereal. Teachers will raise and babysit your kids while in public school and highschool. Want a higher education in any course, program or degree even if not one that has actual jobs to hire or ones that have a shortage of workers - here's some OSAP to put towards it. Can't get a job, here's some welfare. Only want to work seasonally planting trees or ona gopf course here's some UI and or welfare. Don't worry there's always there retirement safety net to catch you if you haven't thought about your future retirement until your actually 65.

Why should parents be responsible for kids drinking, sex, drugs when the government is always there with taxpayer money to help everyone out?

I know people hit on hard times, and become ill and there are cases where people need assistance that should receive it BUT I think we need to tighten up the everything for anyone assistance.I know its not easy for those in need but we need programs that help and force people get onto thier feet other than just issuing cheques to use as you please.
hunky doree / April 16, 2014 at 10:08 pm
Dumb ad-alcohol in convenience/grocers is a perfectly normal thing in the rest of the world. WTF does the beerstore think? They have some privilege over everyone else? How about the beerstore actually do something positive like stop opening up new stores with ridiculously large freezer rooms or promoting small local breweries w/o jacking up the prices to near highway-robbery levels. Beerstore execs/owners need to wake up: there is a slowly growing group of local grocers, underground homes and people making and selling beer, wine and alcohol w/o any "help" from the government. This is not moonshine either and safely made spirits in controlled environments. Dont forgot the large brewersblike sleemans started out this way.
justadrinkypoo / April 16, 2014 at 10:11 pm
The Beer Store already scares me! So governmenty. It is like a visit to a shop in the Soviet Union. Bleah!!
Sarah / April 16, 2014 at 11:06 pm
If you don't know what your talking about why make it up, just shut your mouth. Why are you deliberately trying to insult and hurt our feelings?????
GetYourFactsStraight replying to a comment from bud / April 17, 2014 at 04:27 am
Are you trying to be funny here? Or are you really an idiot. The beer store is owned by Molson and Labatt. That's why their beer is always displayed at the front of the stores and why independent companies have to pay a fortune to be sold there.
ThinkB4YouAct replying to a comment from v79 / April 17, 2014 at 07:43 am
The Beer Store is owned privately. You informed people clearly lack this knowledge so it isnt the least bit shocking you are also un-informed about where the sale of BEER should be. Needless to say the Beer Store sells, Beer products or malt products, so really they aren't concerned about Liquor. Im curious to the muts who think that putting beer in a corner store would give better safe sale to preventing minors from buying? Studies are showing that corner stores can't handle the sale of tobacco safely. Before you yip, understand the facts. Before you wrongly assume that "foreign interests yet again bought something from the government, I would like to point out it is just another indicator that you people are mis informed. The government can't sell a corporation if it isn't government owned. You can thank John Labatt, John Sleeman and the Molson brothers for that.
ThinkB4YouAct replying to a comment from GRBY / April 17, 2014 at 07:47 am
How can you have Communism and monopoly in one sentence.... doesn't exactly work that way. Thanks for coming out
Alex replying to a comment from The Ripper / April 17, 2014 at 08:59 am
Good point! I guess there's no way "thirsty criminal" could rob a convenience store for the cash to go BUY the booze. He certainly couldn't walk into a Beer Store with a gun, what with the invisible gun stopper and air tight security.
Alex replying to a comment from bud / April 17, 2014 at 09:03 am
No, it fucking isn't. Maybe there's government regulation. But it's
keven replying to a comment from jim / April 17, 2014 at 09:51 am
"What some of you are forgetting is that the "beer store" is non profit. Really, it is. The profit goes to the breweries."

Umm... non-profit isn't what you think it is...
Jon / April 17, 2014 at 10:46 am
Hahhahaha, yeah. I remember being a teenager in Canada and I remember drinking underage every weekend from when I was 16 and up. This ad is pointless. Alcohol is still just as easy to get. I guess they don't want us paying what it is actually worth, which is about half of what we pay.
Justin / April 17, 2014 at 11:16 am
The beer store is not nonprofit. It is however a cost center that does not mark up the price of beer for consumers. The price it pays is the price you pay. Its been proven in Alberta and BC what will happen to prices should sale be deregulated. Furthermore there will be an increased cost on the blue box program. The Beer Store s open market is already the fairest possible system for micro breweries, as anyone can list product. How much do you think convenience stores and grocery stores are going to charge for shelf space? I wonder who will have the finances to out bid the little guys? Also before you write a piece instilling the social responsibility of convenience stores you should read the report where 50% of them in Toronto were caught selling to minors. People might not understand why carding us required, but here is a quick run down. Alcohol abuse has detrimental effects on a devolping brain (see teenagers). Ontario has the safest roads in north America with prevention of drunk driving (see MADD study). We have the second lowest prices in Canada and the lowest tax adjusted prices (quebec has a much lower commodity tax and relies on more federal money). 90% of Ontarians live within a 5 minute drive to the largest selection of beer under one roof in the country. I think a lot of people complaining here need to try living somewhere else before they offer illinformed opinions.
Bill P / April 17, 2014 at 11:38 am
Can someone please post the name of the Ad Agency who created this spot? I want to make sure I avoid them. Not only is the Ad poorly executed, it speaks clearly to their ethical benchmark.
Bill P / April 17, 2014 at 11:40 am
And YES Agencies...we DO judge you on your choice of clientele.
Rick replying to a comment from Bill P / April 17, 2014 at 12:42 pm
Clown... If you have the money they'll make you whatever ad you want. Pony up the money small fry if you want your message across.
Also, not once have I ever heard or cared about which ad agency produced the advertisment im watching - its a business you dumb fool.
Rick replying to a comment from Bill P / April 17, 2014 at 12:45 pm
Also; this utopia, passive, ho-hum lifestyle you losers live by is an utter joke. Take off those thick rimmed hipster glasses and see the world for what it really is. Don;t like it? move out of Toronto
G / April 17, 2014 at 02:32 pm
Add me to the list of people who purchased many 24s of beer from TBS when I was 17-18. Never got carded once.
coolwhip1000 / April 17, 2014 at 03:15 pm
The only people who by beer at TBS are vagabonds and derelicts. The LCBO is light years ahead of TBS as a modern, customer-friendly venue to buy the best beers at the best prices. TBS sucks.
Phil replying to a comment from Justin / April 17, 2014 at 10:24 pm
Thanks Justin,
late for your shift at Beer Store HQ?
Billiam P / April 17, 2014 at 10:47 pm
Someone thinks they're a big deal in the ad one cares
Justin / April 17, 2014 at 11:25 pm
Thanks Phil, remind me again what you offered to the conversation?
Chris / April 18, 2014 at 12:29 am
Its about bloody time.
The brewers retail ave eld the monopoly for too long.
They've been selling in Quebec for ever. Same with Manitoba.
Ontario just repeatedly gets screwed. And why ? 1/3 of the population of this country
Lives between Winsor and Montreal (most of that s in Ontario)
robert / April 18, 2014 at 06:31 am
I get carded at LCBO at 30! f'ing 30. but the young but slightly taller 20 year old doesnt get an ID check. This is called profiling and prejudice. It keeps nobody safe and is enforced with tax dollars. Its a crime and they think it functions by perpetually trying to prohibit things. After over 50 years of this failure on every single conceivable level towards prohibition, you would think they might stop but nope. I feel so much safer with my alcoholic friend that has been buying from LCBO since he was 17 without getting carded because he has a beard, I feel much safer now that he drinks and drives thanks to the LCBO but me with no license, has to use a passport to buy booze and then actually get denied because it was expired. I should have to by expensive passports just so I can buy alcohol at 30. Wow I feel so much safer. Its a mafia run colluding entity. All assets of LCBO should be ceased and returned to the public for corruption, collusion, price manipulation, gouging, selling to minors which I have witnessed over and over. Selling to alcoholics which should be fucking priority one. Illegal profiling methods enforced by tax payer funds.

This list goes on and on. They are a corruption, nothing more.
Alex replying to a comment from GRBY / April 19, 2014 at 10:31 am
As several people have already stated, the Beer Store is owned and monopolized by the large beer companies. It's a product of monopoly capitalism, not communism.
Glenn / April 19, 2014 at 04:34 pm
The people have spoken are you listening Catherine... How about giving your own constituents what's fair and for a fair price.
jack / April 21, 2014 at 01:54 am
so now that they might have competition they run adds,and only they sell responsibly,and corner store people are idiots and don`t know how to ask for ID like they do!!!Talk about being scared of losing their jobs or are they really worried about a drunk society
Spike replying to a comment from Justin / April 21, 2014 at 04:30 pm
Agree with Justin about what he said, and am adding another article about getting rid of LCBO or allowing corner stores to sell beer:
NotJustin / April 21, 2014 at 08:15 pm
Justin, do some basic research before spouting a load of pure garbage.

Also, these anecdotal comments some have thrown in - "When I was sixteen, I bought beer and wasn't ID'd" - mean NOTHING in the context of this debate.
Leg / April 21, 2014 at 08:54 pm
No LCBO store manager makes 130k not even a district manager makes that at top pay. Maybe 1 or 2 store managers a year make over 100k and just over due to delayed payments or retirement payouts. Check the sunshine list. Your friend is a liar. If it was that easy to make that kind if money due to nepotism I'm sure you'd have leafy called your "friend" for a job
Tony Guy replying to a comment from bud / April 23, 2014 at 01:55 pm
Sorry you are one of the 87% that wrongly think the Beer Store is Government owned, it is not. The beer store is owned by three foreign brewery giants.
aa / April 24, 2014 at 10:24 am
Ontarians need to Boycott the LCBO and the Beer store, and brew their own liquor instead. It's not that hard especially when theres tons of resources on the internet.
amoc1ca / April 25, 2014 at 01:12 am
If the big companies that own the Beer Store say its bad to sell in corner stores because kids will be able to puy it...then shouldn't they remove their product from the other provinces that do sell it in the corner store. hmmm!
V replying to a comment from Justin / May 22, 2014 at 06:02 pm
:) Justin
Rodbar / August 16, 2014 at 03:22 pm
I got ID'd today at the Beer Store. Now that's due diligence, given I'm 35. Also, it may be due to the fact they thought I was an asshole demanding they open another line to avoid the deadbeats returning their stink ass empties for a full 85c refund.
#1 employee / October 14, 2014 at 11:31 pm
I work at the beer store. There's a never ending flow of propaganda given to us in letters, a "kegs and cases" magazine for employees, and training sessions about why beer is good for you and why it needs to be safeguarded. I personally couldn't care less if someone 18 years old buys beer. Teens are curious about alcohol and want to enjoy themselves like they do in many other places in the world. Also, everyone who works there is happy to be unionized ect. but thinks the concept is evil. It is an awful, corrupt company, and not even Canadian owned. The people in charge are in one business and one business only: HOLD the monopoly. If people actually had a choice they'd ditch this company tomorrow. Did you know every brewery has to pay the beer store big bucks to sell their product? Dare I say this company is like a well-dressed pimp who sits back and laughs his way to the bank. :)
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