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Internet Edition, February 27, 2002, Page 1


Weight Watchers International, which completed one of the most successful IPOs of 2001, has awarded Lippert/Heilshorn & Assocs. its IR account after considering a "number of firms," Bob Hollweg, WWI's VP, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary, told this NL.

Hollweg would neither discuss what other firms pitched nor budget. "It's my gut instinct not to talk about that," he said. Hollweg said L/H&A was selected because it was "most suited for our needs."

WWI, on Feb. 19, reported fourth quarter net income of $81.8 million, which surpassed Wall Street's expectations, according to Reuters.

Keith Lippert is the son of Al, one of WWI's founders. That relationship had nothing to do with L/H&A getting the work, stressed Hollweg.


Golin/Harris International's Chicago office is handling an internal and external PR program for McDonald's Corp. to help the fast-food chain retain employees and improve on staff turnover rates as high as 100 percent at some of its restaurants.

G/HI, an Interpublic firm which has had a long relationship with McDonald's, was "quietly hired" to work on the project earlier this year as part of a previously announced plan to improve service at the fast-food restaurants, according to the Chicago Tribune.

The campaign to retain employees could be one of the country's biggest internal and external employee communications projects. The campaign is said to be worth $3-$5 million.

The Mortgage Bankers of America, which represents about 3,000 real estate finance companies and their 350,000 employees, is looking to hire a senior VP-communications with a minimum of ten years of experience. The position reports to president/COO Jonathan Kempner. Nels Olson in Korn/Ferry International's Washington, D.C., office is handling the search.

Albert (Rusty) Brashear, 59, is retiring from Motorola, in Schaumberg, Ill., where he is senior VP-corporate communications. Janilee Johnson, corporate VP of communications, will succeed Brashear, who was deputy press secretary in the Reagan Administration before joining Motorola in 1987.


Image Dynamics, Phyllis Brotman's defunct PR firm, has won its four-year legal battle with Black & Decker as Maryland's top court has refused to consider an appeal by either party. She receives $235,000, representing a $195K verdict and $40K in interest from the toolmaker.

Brotman had sued B&D $1.5 million after it pulled its account from ID, and gave the business to a new firm started by David Olsen, who had worked on the toolmaker's account while at ID.

Brotman charged B&D with "unjust enrichment" because it used her firm's media list, and with "tortious interference of contract" for hiring Olsen who had signed a nonsolicitation agreement with ID. A B&D attorney told The Daily Record that his client won on the interference count, but lost on the unjust enrichment charge. He called the legal tussle a "long battle for a relatively insignificant amount of money."

Brotman said B&D, an ID client for eight years, generated about one-third of the firm's business. She merged ID into Gray, Kirk/Van Sant in 1997, and became an executive VP there. Brotman expects to reopen ID in Maryland.


The Zimbabwe Democracy Trust has hired Alexander Strategy Group to monitor U.S. policy toward that African nation, and help promote freedom and economic development there.

Members of ZDT, according to its website, believe Zimbabwe can attract foreign investment only if it can improve its democratic record and establish good governance.

President Robert Mugabe, 78, who has ruled the country since it gained independence from the U.K. in 1980, is a key obstacle to that goal. A special report in the Feb. 23-March 1 Economist says Mugabe has become more entrenched and retains power via corruption and by unleashing thugs to attack political opponents.

ZDT and others are concerned whether the March 9-10 electoral showdown between Mugabe and Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai will be a free and fair vote. The Economist reported that Mugabe has vowed that his opponents will never, ever rule.

Ed Buckham is among the four ASG staffers that have registered as ZDT lobbyists. He is a former aide to Rep. Tom DeLay (R-Tex.).

Internet Edition, February 27, 2002, Page 2


A plan that would involve the U.S. military in overseas propaganda efforts has generated opposition among those who fear it will undermine the Defense Department's credibility.

The propaganda campaign would be run by the Pentagon's Office of Strategic Influence, which was created shortly after Sept. 11 to publicize the U.S. government's perspective in Islamic countries and to generate support for the U.S.' "war on terror."

The New York Times reported Feb. 19 that the OSI is "developing plans to provide news items, possibly even false ones, to foreign media organizations" in an effort "to influence public sentiment and policy makers in both friendly and unfriendly countries."

The Pentagon denies that it would ever plant false "news" items. While Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld defended the Pentagon's need to conduct secret activities intended to deceive the enemy during times of war, he said "government officials, the Department of Defense, this secretary and the people that work with me tell the American people and people of the world the truth." He also said on Feb. 24 the office may be eliminated.

To help the new office, the Pentagon has hired the Rendon Group, a Washington, D.C.-based PR firm run by John Rendon Jr., a former campaign aide to President Jimmy Carter.

The firm, which is being paid about $100,000 a month, has done extensive work for the CIA, the Kuwaiti royal family and the Iraqi National Congress, the group seeking to oust President Saddam Hussein.


Lexis/Nexis, which formerly cost $1,200 and more for yearly membership and whose searches could quickly run into hundreds of dollars, now allows free ad hoc searches of its 22,000-publication database.

Users only have to pay if they print out documents, which are described in three and four-line entries. Cost is $3.25 each, which includes 25 cents tax. The charge is the same for all documents.

Lexis/Nexis, which pioneered in providing full text of stories in media, appears to be responding to competition from free services such as, which can turn up a million or more documents in a fraction of a second.

Included in the Nexis database is 13 years of Jack O'Dwyer's Newsletter and O'Dwyer's PR Services Report in full text. Lexis/Nexis can search its entire database in a second or two but searches are cancelled if more than 1,000 entries come up. Refinement is needed.

Address is Users go to the "Sign on to your service" box in the upper left hand corner and scroll down to the third item, "Lexis/ Nexis by credit card." Next steps are clicking "Pay as you go," "News sources," and "General news." Default time period for searches is 60 days but this can be changed to two years or to unlimited. Lexis/ Nexis provides assistance (800/543-6862).


President George Bush wants to make the Coalition Information Center a permanent office of global diplomacy. The CIC, which is headed by Jim Wilkinson, was formed by Karen Hughes, senior advisor to the President, and her British counterpart to create a more positive image of the U.S. after the Sept. 11 attacks.

"The President believes it is a critical part of national security to communicate U.S. foreign policy to a global audience in times of peace as well as war," said Dan Bartlett, the White House communications director.

The new office will coordinate the public statements of State, Defense and other departments like the Voice of America to ensure that foreign correspondents in Washington, D.C., as well as foreign leaders and opinion-makers overseas understand the Administration's policies.

Charlotte Beers, a former ad executive, who is now in charge of public diplomacy at the State Department, has also been attempting to make U.S. policies and culture more familiar to foreigners.


Enron's Mark Palmer, VP/corporate communications, said the company will change its name and move its corporate headquarters in Houston.

"If we're going to have a reorganized company that's coming out of bankruptcy, we need a new name and a fresh start," said Palmer.

Enron, which many believe is liquidating rather than reorganizing, will leave its 50-story skyscraper and lease smaller office space downtown.

Palmer said the name change will not occur right away.

An outside branding company made-up the Enron name for the new company, which was created out of the merger of Internorth and HNG in 1986.

The naming consultants had originally come up with "Enteron," but before it was made official, an employee discovered in a medical dictionary that it was another name for the intestines.

Consultants kept the "En-" prefix, denoting "energy," and the "-ron" suffix to connote vigor.


Environics Communications has added MasterCard Canada to its client portfolio following a pitch that included a dozen firms, Andrea Ellison, an EC senior consultant, told this NL. The list was chopped to six. Goodman Communications was the incumbent, but dropped out of the review, she said.

EC president Bruce MacLellan promises that his firm will add "power and recognition" to the brand.

Purchase, N.Y.-headquartered MasterCard International handed its $500K-plus account to Waggener Edstrom in December. That independent PR firm won the pitch in competition with WPP's Ogilvy PR; BCom3's Manning, Selvage & Lee and Omnicom's Brodeur Worldwide, which was the incumbent.

Internet Edition, February 27, 2002, Page 3


Teya Ryan, who remade CNN's "Headline News," was promoted to general manager of the Atlanta-based cable TV network.

She succeeds Sid Bedingfield, who was appointed executive editor of the CNN News Group.

Taking the Headline News spot vacated by Ryan is Rolando Santos, who started and ran CNN en Espanol. Chris Crommett becomes the new general manager of the Spanish-language network.

Eason Jordan will continue to oversee worldwide news-gathering for CNN and report directly to Walter Isaacson, CNN News Group chairman.

William Bennett, who is co-director of Empower America and former secretary of education and director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, is joining CNN as a network contributor.

Bennett will offer his commentary on social and cultural issues, primarily on "American Morning with Paula Zahn."

Starting March 4, Bennett will work out of CNN's Washington, D.C., bureau. He will also contribute to other CNN programming.


Alan Murray is joining CNBC as the New Jersey-based cable network's Washington, D.C., bureau chief.

Murray, who has been The Wall Street Journal's Washington bureau chief since 1993, will keep his connection by writing a weekly column for the politics page.

He will become the co-host of what is now to be called "Capitol Report With Alan Murray and Tyler Mathisen."

Matt Cuddy, the CNBC bureau chief since 1998, is now the bureau's news director.


Martha Nelson, 49, will take over as managing editor of People magazine on April 1.

Nelson, who is managing editor of In Style, succeeds Carol Wallace, who, at her own request, is stepping down after five years as People's top editor.

Charla Lawson, 45, was named managing editor of In Style, where she currently is executive editor.


Michael Rourke was named to replace Gail Steinberg as executive producer of "Ricki Lake."

The syndicated talk show is produced by Columbia TriStar Domestic Television.

Steinberg, who has been with the younger-skewing talk show since it was started in 1993, is going to work with CTDT programmers to develop future cable and syndicated programs.

Rourke, who also produces court series "Judge Hatchett" for CTDT, will oversee both shows from New York.

Several changes are planned for the show, which is averaging a 1.8 rating nationally, according to Nielsen Media Research.

Ricki Lake has been cleared for 2002-03 in more than 90% of the country.


R.W. (Johnny) Apple Jr., 67, was promoted to associate editor by The New York Times' executive editor Howell Raines.

Apple, who has been the paper's chief correspondent for the past five years, will remain based in Washington, D.C.

Raines said Apple, who joined the Times in 1963, will travel and write about the arts, politics, foreign affairs and other topics.


Christopher Isham, a longtime senior producer of "World News Tonight," will head a new investigative projects unit for ABC News.

The unit was formed by the merger of three investigative news and legal teams into one unit, called the I-Team.

Joining the unit are the teams led by chief investigative correspondent Brian Ross and senior legal correspondent Cynthia McFadden. The senior investigative producers of the unit are Chris Viasto and Eric Avram.


Brian Donlon was named VP/general manager of iVillage TV, an online media company.

He will oversee all programming and production of "The Newborn Channel," the direct satellite program shown in hospitals.

He will also manage The Wireless Channel, which will start in fall 2002.

Donlon, who had been executive producer of "Parent Soup" and "Newborn Woman," spent six years at Lifetime TV, where he created Lifetime Sports. He has been a media correspondent for CNBC, a senior producer for CBS News' "Early Show" and a reporter and TV critic for USA Today.


Seventeen magazine has added the following new columns:

-"Girl Talk": letter from Annemarie Iverson, editor-in-chief
-"Changing Room": designers dress celebrities
-"Do-over": monthly makeovers
-"William Watch": keeping tabs on Prince William
-"Scrapbook": on location with celebrities
-"Soundcheck": new musicians
-"All Access": behind the scenes entertainment
-"Almost Famous": new CD releases, and
-"My Story": true stories of teens.

Jodi LaPoint, PR coordinator, can provide more information, at 212/204-4315.

(Media news continued on next page)

Internet Edition, February 27, 2002, Page 4

Jerry Bruckheimer, producer of "Black Hawk Down" and "Top Gun," is teaming with ABC-TV to produce "Profiles from the Front Line"-a 13-episode series dealing with branches of the U.S. military engaged in various battlefield actions.

Slated to air this summer or fall, the reality series is said by ABC to have the "full cooperation" of the Pentagon and U.S. Department of Defense, and will send producers and cameramen to hot spots around the world, where American military will be acting in the nation's security interests.

Andrea Wong, ABC's SVP of alternative series and specials, said the series "would not be possible without the full, unparalled support and cooperation of the Defense Department and the Pentagon..."

Bertran van Munster, who will work with Bruckheimer on the series, said this is going to be a "very visual reality show with a strong patriotic message."


Anthony Furman, whose PR firm runs the Press Center at the annual Toy Fair in New York, gave exhibitors these tips for maximizing news coverage:

1. Ask journalists what type of story they are working on and steer them toward appropriate products in your showroom.

2. Make your remarks succinct as journalists work on deadlines (let them determine the length of the interview).

3. Have professonal pictures of your product(s) available to give to the media (either in person or in a media kit).

4. Have your logo on all pictures of your products.

5. Mention the name of your product and company frequently throughout the interview.

6. Give journalists a news release and brochure about the product(s) in question at the conclusion of the interview.

7. Give them your business card so they may contact you if they need additional information.


BoomerCafe (, an online magazine for Baby Boomers, now in its third year, is seeking on-going relationships with PR professionals.

The site, which is focused on active lifestyle, was founded by former network news correspondents David Henderson (CBS News and recently SVP at Edelman PR Worldwide in Washington, D.C.) and Gregg Dobbs (ABC News and currently a syndicated newspaper columnist).

Henderson invites publicists to submit ideas and information for use as lifestyle, health & fitness and travel & leisure feature stories.

The stories should not be more than 800 words in length with accompanying web-compatible low resolution visuals. Check BoomerCafe for submission guidelines.

Stories should be e-mailed to [email protected]. No snailmail or phone calls, said Henderson, who is located in Reston, Va.


Ziff Davis Media Game Group will publish a daily newspaper during the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) on May 22-24, at the Los Angeles Convention Center.

The annual video and PC game industry event attracts more than 62,000 attendees, 450 exhibitors and 1,000 product debuts.

The E3 Show Daily will be staffed by a team of editors from Electronic Gaming Monthly, PlayStation Magazine, Computer Gaming World and GameNow.

Editorial director John Davison said reporters will scour the show to provide attendees with the hottest stories and news from the show floor.

Publicists can contact the E3 editorial team at [email protected].


"Decorating Center" is a new section on, a website backed by Better Homes and Gardens magazine. The site, which features hundreds of photographs, offers home decorating ideas and projects.

Emily Sacher, who is editor-in-chief of as well as Ladies' Home Journal online (, can be pitched story ideas at 212/455-1179.

Money magazine has relaunched its auto section website ( Along with automotive news, features and loan information, the site will provide information on hundreds of different cars. Peter Valdez-DaPena is editor of the auto section. He is at 212/714-5777.

Hemmings Motor News has a new bimonthly publication devoted to Ford's Mustang. Hemmings Mustang & Tech Guide, which will be dedicated to all years of Ford's Mustang, will feature interviews with significant personalities from the Mustang world, and a soon-to-be added new products section.

Richard Lentinello is editor-in-chief. Publicists can pitch him at [email protected].

"Next@CNN," a new weekly program on CNN, made its debut on Jan. 26. The show, which replaces "Earth Matters," "Science & Technology Week," and "CNNDotCom," focuses on consumer-driven technology, science and environmental issues.

Marsha Walton, who is field producer, wants to get information by e-mail: [email protected].

Steve Eldridge, a reporter for WTOP Radio, in Washington, D.C., told publicists at a PRSA/NCC meeting they should avoid giving exclusives. He said it is "very disconcerting" to read about what will be happening at an event, which he plans to cover, in the morning newspaper.

Internet Edition, February 27, 2002, Page 7


Profit of WPP Group in 2001 rose 10.8% to $390 million from $352M in the previous year but per share net fell 20.5% to $1.71 from $2.15 because of additional shares issued for the acquisition of Young & Rubicam in 2000.

In terms of British pounds, per share net fell 16%.

Also a cause of the per share decrease was losses from technology investments made over the last four years.

Revenues, not counting acquisitions, were down 3% for the year. They were flat in the first nine months and down 9% in the last quarter.

Total revenues, including the acquisition of Y&R, Tempus Group (media buyers), and other companies, rose nearly 35% to $5.8 billion. All 2001 acquisitions were done for cash, including $558M for the hostile takeover of Tempus (revenues: $232M).

Some of the stock paid for Y&R in 2000 was transferred in 2001, raising the number of shares outstanding from 865,978,000 to 1,157,080,255 under the U.K. system. Shares outstanding in the U.S. system (ADRs or Advance Depository Receipts) total 229 million.

Net debt rose to $1.28 billion as of Dec. 31 from $35M a year earlier. In the first five weeks to Feb. 6, 2001, net debt averaged $1.52 billion vs. net debt of $360M for the same period last year at 2002 exchange rates.

Because of the higher debt, net interest payable rose to $102.7M from $74.5M. The increased profitability "was more than offset by debt acquired, the increased level of acquisition activity, and share repurchases," said WPP.

PR/PA Group Hardest Hit

WPP said the PR/PA sector was the "most affected by the worldwide recession." It had a 6.7% decline in underlying revenues.

"Although Hill and Knowlton's revenue rose in 2001, Burson-Marsteller, Ogilvy PR Worldwide and Cohn & Wolfe suffered significant revenue declines," said the report.

Robinson Lerer & Montgomery continued to make a strong contribution, it added.

WPP profit before taxes, goodwill, investment gains and investment losses was up nearly 29% to $705.4M. Goodwill rose to 4.439 billion British pounds from 3.497B.

WPP rents about 14 million sq. ft. worldwide at a cost of $466M in 2001. About one million sq. ft. rented for $39M, mostly in the U.S., is under-used.

WPP's Martin Sorrell said "2001 has been a brutal year" and that 2002 will be "difficult but hopefully not as traumatic." WPP expects ad/marketing growth to be "flat" in 2002 and "slightly better" in 2003.


PR professionals must stop being "compliant communicators" in scandalous situations like Enron and must "have the guts to push back and risk their jobs," said Shelley Spector, president of Spector & Assocs., and founder, National Assn. of Independent PR Agencies.

PR Society of America and the International Assn. of Business Communicators have as yet issued no statements on the Enron scandal being investigated by Congress.

Jane McCahon, chairman of the National IR Institute, referred to the scandal briefly in her "Chairman's Note" in the February IR Update of NIRI.

PR Pros Must Assert Selves

Spector said PR pros must not have a role in deceiving the public.

"Until then, despite all our best intentions and integrity, we can't expect bad clients to treat us like anything more than their own tools for deception," she said. "Maybe next time, if given a choice, we won't work for bad clients," she added.

The Enron case, she said, has been marked by "deliberate obfuscation."

The convoluted financial arrangements of Enron were enough to foil even the brightest translator of accounting and legal jargon, she said.

"We straddle the fence between the company and its publics and in trying to bridge that gap, we often find our own integrity at stake," she said.

Spector called Enron "the biggest case yet of pumping and dumping."

She asked: "Are we just a mouthpiece for propaganda or the conscience of the company? Are we just the voice the chairman wants the world to hear? Or are we the eyes and ears that feed back public perception, especially that which the chairman may not want to know?"

The recently formed NAIPRA ( has more than 100 members. The web-based nationwide group of independent PR firms has no dues or initiation fees. Members share best practices and act as correspondents for each other.


Kmart Corp., which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Jan. 29, is using Kekst & Co. to help complete the restructuring of the $37 billion discount retailer. Michael Freitag oversees the account at Kekst.

Kmart has received interim court approval for a $2 billion debtor-in-possession credit facility that is provided by JP Morgan Chase, Fleet Retail Finance, and others. The Court is expected to give final approval for the financing on March 6.

Kmart unveiled a new corporate ad campaign carrying the "Kmart. The Stuff of Life" tagline during the closing ceremony of the Olympics on Feb. 24. The ads, produced by Spike Lee's 40 Acres and a Mule Filmworks production company, show how Kmart carries products to meet consumer's daily needs.

The ads also illustrate how Kmart reaches the "aspirational" wants of consumers by stocking exclusive brands, such as Martha Stewart Everyday.

Kmart, last year, pitched the revival of its BlueLight special promotional drive as the key to its rebound.

Internet Edition, February 27, 2002, Page 8



The 26-page 2001 report that the WPP Group sent us is a good example of what's wrong with today's earnings statements.

Buried in a table on page 14 is the most important figure in the report-per share earnings. They're down 20% to $1.71 (off 16% in U.K. pounds).

This figure is not mentioned in any of the text and certainly not on the first page, which talks about profit before taxes, profit before losses on investments, profit before interest, etc.

Nor does the first page mention that debt ballooned to $1.52B as of Feb. 6 from $35 million on Dec. 31, 2000. Instead, we are told that revenues have gained almost 35% to $5.7B from $4.3B. But we are not told that all of the gain is from acquisitions and that, by itself, WPP revenues were down 3% for the year (including, significantly, 9% in the last quarter).

We are also not told on the first page that outstanding shares on the London Stock Exchange climbed 25% to 1.15 billion from 865 million (about 230M in the U.S. on NASDAQ where one share equals five U.K. shares). These shares were used to buy Young & Rubicam in 2000. The jump in interest costs to $102M from $74.5M is not highlighted. Oddly, a 20% rise in the dividend is trumpeted. It is 32.4 cents on a stock that sells for around $50.

So confusing are the WPP earnings that Advertising Age and the New York Times had not covered them almost a week after they came out.

WPP is like the wage earner who comes home and announces that he (it could be a she) has more money in his pocket because he has bought a business and it throws off a little profit.

However, the husband has to explain he has taken on a debt equivalent to more than four times his annual income (WPP netted $390M in 2001 but now has a debt of $1.52B) to get this 10% increase.

Then the bread winner announces he has just adopted a child and his family of four is now five (representing the 25% jump in WPP shares). The take home "pie" now has to be divided five instead of four ways.

The 26-page report lacks a candid description of last year's costly, hostile takeover of the Tempus media buying service. WPP paid $558 million for a company grossing $232M.. It got into a bidding war with Havas and the price got so high (more than 50% above the share price of Tempus) that WPP tried to pull out of the deal. The takeover was publicly opposed by 38 managers at Tempus. WPP got a 22% stake by buying it from a former disgruntled employee of Tempus, thus angering Tempus head Chris Ingram, among others.

The above description of the WPP report only scratches the surface of the spooky finances of the big ad conglomerates-Interpublic, Omnicom and WPP. Even analysts have a hard time following what they're doing (see Grant's Investor analysis of IPG on

The purchase of Tempus shows the "gang" mentality currently at work in the ad world and much of the business world (see Wall Street Journal lead story 2/25 on rise of "oligopolies").

The media buying specialists (Starcom, MindShare, Media Edge, MediaCom, etc.) use their immense buying power to knock down the prices charged by media. The ad/PR conglomerates have "ganged up" in the Council of PR Firms to dictate the definition of PR as "integrated marketing" and to take control of the rankings of PR firms (absolving themselves of having to submit any proofs). The same philosophy is offered in behalf of clients, i.e., a "gang" of techniques such as ads, PR, graphics, direct mail, etc., is said to work better on the consumer than any one of these working separately. Independent PR firms, knowing this is a seductive but flawed message, are forming their own groups to claim that PR is different from the other techniques.

Clients, aware that some of the ad conglomerate owners are building fortunes of $100 million+ while squeezing their employees economically and limiting choices for advertisers, are themselves "ganging up." The successful revolt of a dozen PR pros in the Atlanta office of Cohn & Wolfe in 2001 was no doubt supported by clients who got fed up with stories of tight control exercised by the parent (C&W is owned by WPP). C&W sued the breakaway PR pros but the suit was settled out of court. C&W later closed Atlanta, its birthplace office...Advertisers cooperate in many ways to pressure media. When the New York News in 2001 reported on supermarkets failing state inspections, every chain except Key Food pulled its ads, costing the paper about $100K weekly. The News ran three special sections about the markets to make amends. Most eventually returned...Burson-Marsteller reportedly got started in 1953 when Bill Marsteller said to Harold Burson, "I'll send over the ads and you send over the stories." Early clients were mostly industrial and no trade book would ever turn down a story from an advertiser. The same is true today only the advertisers want much more. Many trade books have to give numerous awards to their advertisers such as "agency" or "company of the year"; best campaigns; top executive; most improved company; biggest sales gains, dominant is the WPP culture at Hill and Knowlton and Ogilvy PR that these firms would be more aptly named WPP PR. They should always be identified with their parents, i.e., Porter Novelli/Omnicom; Weber Shandwick/Interpublic, etc. Publicis uses its own name on its PR firms.
--Jack O'Dwyer


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